The moment we enthusiastically praise our young kids as they take their first baby steps, we instill in them the determination to keep moving onward, like sprinkling fairy dust on their wings! We make our approval and support clear through praise. This creates a space for more growth and success and minimizes fear of failure. Interestingly, this approach works just as well in a business setting! What praise do you bring to the workplace that excites your employees to take on more challenges?
Purpose of Praise
The intention of praise is to acknowledge employees for accomplishments in a way that highlights their contributions to the organization, motivates them to repeat or excel, and inspires others to take a similar approach. Using praise increases employee productivity.
Who Needs Praise Anyways?
When you, as a leader, take for granted your team’s efforts, you end up with individuals who don’t see a difference between doing the bare minimum and giving it all they’ve got. Sooner or later, they stop thinking that their skills are important to the team’s success. Moreover, they start feeling unimportant, irrelevant and insignificant. Maybe they start losing confidence? Or even begin looking for another job where their contributions will be recognized?
What is Genuine Praise?
Have you ever heard someone giving praise and felt it wasn’t real? Maybe it seemed that the person giving the praise was just making a big deal out of something insignificant, or that they were just putting on a show?
Here is the secret: in order for praise to work you need to be sincere and honest. If you are phony, others will see through it and it could negatively effect how they view you.
Here are a few points to remember:
- Don’t confuse praise with compliments. Making a positive remark about someone’s appearance is a compliment. I’m not suggesting you should avoid giving compliments, just know the difference. You give praise on accomplishments and behavior.
- In order for praise to have maximum impact, you need to praise in public. This way you not only impact the employee’s sense of accomplishment, but also the entire team’s morale.
- Be specific when you give praise so that your employees know exactly which behaviors you are proud of and would like repeated.
What Difference Can it Make?
Praise not only increases productivity in the workplace, but also diffuses tension for those employees who work hard and put in extra effort to address challenges. It increases employees’ confidence, helps them grow, and encourages them to take on more than they initially thought possible. If you want to build a strong team, you’ve got to build momentum after the players take those first baby steps!
Here is a fine thought: it doesn’t cost you anything to acknowledge and praise.
So if the effects of praise are truly magical, how much more praise are you willing to sprinkle on your employees?
Give it a try and share the impact with us!