Please review my 3-part posting to increase your understanding of this topic:
This is a difficult area for most managers to comprehend the importance of. We’ve worked for bosses who were either stingy with praise and recognition or obnoxious about it. Why is that? Here are some reasons to consider:
I still remember my old boss who used to heap praises on me; so much that I got suspicious of his motives. I also became suspicions since they were general, and without specifics. To be effective, praise needs to have a who, what, where, and when in the conversation. Last week I participated in a meeting where there were lots of praise and recognition, but none, or little of, the four “W’s”. Yes, I was guilty of it, too. Unfortunately it is easy to slip into the, “What a great job you are doing. The clients are really happy with you” mode, but it isn’t as effective.
Can I remember hearing specific, effective praise and recognition comments from managers? No, I can’t, not that any ever happened, but the point is they are rare. As a leader it is important to take time to first, remember to praise and recognize those that work for you, and second make it specific.
Some managers find it hard to give praise and recognize to their employees because, as I’ve heard some say, “I’m just not sure what they did was worth praising”; they are always waiting for one better. Come on…. if you observe something you like to see in job performance take the time, and make the effort to specifically tell them what you saw you liked and why you are praising them.
There are two things people want more than sex and money… recognition and praise.
Mary Kay Ash
Next: “Vision, Strategy, Decisiveness” personal stories