Continuing on the theme of my last post, giving praise is not only necessary and critical to employee performance and company success, it is also truly an art as Steven DeMaio discussed in a post to his Harvard Business Blog.
Steven offers solid advice in his post, particularly around what I call specific, actionable and authentic praise.
Specific praise goes far beyond a generic “great job” to make recognition truly meaningful. With specific praise, you tell the recipient what they did, how that behavior/effort reflected the company values, and why it was important to the team/department/company or contributed to achieving strategic objectives. Such specific praise makes it…
Actionable and repeatable. By giving employees such specific recognition, you clearly communicate what is important and encourage them to repeat those actions in the future. For employees to want to repeat such desired behaviors, however, your praise and recognition must be …
Authentic. Don’t fall into the compliment sandwich trap – “Great job on that task, but you forgot this one critical step. I know you you’ll get it next time as you are so conscientious!” This is a confusing message to employees. Did they really do a good job if an important step was missed? Offer constructive criticism, which is itself desired by employees, separate from praise for work well done.
What other tips do you have for effective and powerful praise or recognition?
About Derek Irvine
The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and "Winning with a Culture of Recognition," he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.