You’re the boss. How would your employees rate you as a boss/supervisor in terms of praising them?
Now ask yourself: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate yourself in praising and rewarding hard work and achievement? Are you in the negative numbers?
Employees can recognize, very easily, insincere praise from a superior or the ineffectiveness of those recognition programs instituted to foster performance. Do away with those programs and simply take control by following some of the steps below.
Just Do It!
Not only do employees like to hear that they have done something well, they NEED it. The longer you wait, the less value it has when you finally do mention it. It is never too soon to give them a big pat on the back.
When it comes to employee recognition, take the time to give them specific information about their achievement. Don’t just tell them that they did a good job; explain to them how important their role was and how the effort benefits not only thumbnut the company, as well. They will appreciate it and it also helps your employee learn exactly what to do the next time.
Don’t Cry Wolf
Don’t praise for the sake of praising. Employees can see right through you when you falsely give them attention, so stay in your office if that’s what you’re doing all the time. Constant false recognition fails because when you really say something that you mean it will have much less value to the employee.
Don’t spend all your time looking for things that are wrong with your employees. This puts employees on the defensive and actually makes them fail. Spend some time catching them doing good things. This creates positive energy and makes them succeed.
Don’t Play Construction Worker
Constructive criticism has its place, but not while you are praising your employee. If you tell them “It was great that you did such and such, BUT next time…” They only hear the latter, what they should be doing next time and they walk away feeling like a failure, not appreciated. We all need improvement, but save those discussions for another time.
You’re probably asking yourself: “Huh?”
Well, let’s say your employee(s) have spent days or weeks putting together a plan or working on a project that eventually results in a not-so-fruitful result. The effort that they spent should not go unrecognized. Make sure that everyone involved knows that you appreciate all the hard work that they put into it. Defeat brings everyone down and it’s your duty for the good of the company to bring their spirits back up.
Yeah, pizza lunches are great (not everyone wants pizza, though) and birthday parties can be fun (not everyone wants cake, either), but a personalized gift goes much further. However, a gift to a local coffee shop isn’t always best if the employee doesn’t drink coffee, so take the time to pick something meaningful to the employee. They will appreciate the unexpected token of recognition.
Don’t Play Favorites
The ones that work extra hard or struggle are the sometimes the ones that get ignored or often criticized. So balance your attention and praise everyone equally. Look harder to find good things in the less than stellar employees. A bit of praise could be all they need to skyrocket them to greater things.
Employees are naturally competitive and we all want that “promotion.” Create a situation where employees can share their achievements or knowledge. When employees praise each other they learn from one another. Sharing knowledge fosters grow and patience with one another and creates a better environment for everyone. As for the anti-social ones that are afraid and stay away from this or think they are too good for it… send them to therapy.
Understand Your Employee
Everyone is different. Remember what works for someone doesn’t work for the other. Some like public recognition while others are embarrassed by it. Understanding how to adjust individual recognition will produce the best results for each employee.
Be smart. Know who is truly responsible for the success of a goal, especially when there are several hands in play. Just because one person is the leader of a project does not mean they are the ones that deserve the most recognition. Some employees are afraid to say anything when they are cleaning up their leader’s “mess” and making sure that they look good. When there is a team involved make sure you know who did what and who did not. Praise accordingly.
Loyalty to a company is hard for someone to have when a boss isn’t loyal to their employees. We all want to grow as a company and want our employees to stick around. When you are wishy-washy about your employees ie: being supportive one moment and critical the next, or even worse, terminating their employment without warning, creates instability and reduces loyalty to the company. Your employees just might wonder, “Wow, I could be next.”
An open door policy is always a plus. Some companies aren’t big enough to have an H.R. department, therefore, an employee should be able to speak up and be allowed to have a voice. An employee should not be afraid to ask for help or discuss something that needs “fixing.” Often employees will not speak up because they are afraid of possible repercussions to themselves. Instead, listen to them and work with them to resolve the situation. Be aware that the same matter may be affecting other members of your staff as well. Thank them for coming forward.
Finally, a lot of employers think that employee recognition and praising can be seen as a weakness and are afraid to to do it, but recognizing achievement and hard work is good for you as an employer and strengthens the work environment. When you do a better job at it your employees typically perform better. Your place of business will be one big happy family and everyone will want to work there.
The more you praise, the more your employees achieve and that gives you even more to praise.