As a manager, you know praise is a powerful motivator. Maximize it by taking your recognition efforts to a whole new level with these powerful but subtle ways.
Praise just for the sake of praise isn’t genuine. If you aren’t genuine, you lessen the impact it leaves, because everyone can tell your heart isn’t it.
Give yourself a few minutes to think before you praise the employee. What really stuck with you? What did the employee excel at? What did the employee do or say that made you smile and think, She/he’s got this!
Also, let the person know what other people said about working with him or her: The customer said he loved working with you or Accounting said you jumped at the chance to help.
Give constructive criticism later
A trap many managers fall into: Offering praise with a side of constructive feedback: You did a great job handling that customer’s complain, but next time ….
All the person hears is what he should have done, rather than what he already did. Offer praise and recognize the good deeds now. Later is the time to address any improvements.
It’s human nature – we’re programmed to look for issues and problems. Instead of keeping an eye out for bad things, flip it and try to catch employees doing good things. It’ll improve your relationship with your team and motivate employees to do even better.
Here’s something that’ll mix up the next praise you give: Surprise your employees with unexpected recognition.
Receiving surprise praise is so much better than winning Employee of the Month. Nothing leaves a bigger impact that a surprise visit from a higher-up thanking an employee for a job well done.
Create the culture
Take a look around your office: Is it a “recognition culture?” Do people often bring forward examples of outstanding action? If not, it’s time to start one.
Before your next meeting, ask everyone to bring an example or two of a co-worker they praised for something that week. Even if it seems a little forced in the beginning, people will adapt and look forward to it.