When it comes to what we communicate to our employees, few messages have as much impact as offering words of praise to those we lead. The importance of praise to an organization’s success has been shown in numerous studies performed by management experts, psychologists, and neurologists. One study even demonstrated how just saying ‘thank you’ to your employees can lead to an increase in productivity and employee engagement.
Of course, even without the empirical evidence proffered by these various studies, most of us understand the value of praise and its potent ability to serve as a positive motivator/driver for action. So if we’ve read the studies and/or are familiar from our own personal experiences and education about the importance of praise, why then aren’t leaders communicating it more to those under their stewardship?
In most cases, the easy culprit to pin the blame on is the increasing number of distractions now on our collective radars, or the stresses brought on by trying to navigate a global economy that’s in perpetual flux. But is this lack of praise really do to external factors, or is it perhaps more a reflection of how we communicate praise to those we lead or work side by side with?
Is it not possible that in most cases, what we’re seeing is not a lack of praise being offered but a lack of effectiveness in relaying that message in a manner that is meaningful to the person we’re giving it to?
If so, how do we make sure we’re effective in giving praise to our employees so that they do understand how much we value and appreciate their contributions to our shared purpose?
In the article “The Power of Praise in Business — and How to Do it Right”, a number of suggestions are offered on how to improve the way you give praise to your employees. While there are many good points, perhaps the most important is approaching the conversation with sincerity – with the focus or aim being simply to let your employee know how much you value their contributions.
As the author points out in this article –
What praise ultimately does is hold up a mirror. It acknowledges what people already think about themselves: that they’re good at what they do. You’re making someone happy and fulfilled and more excited to work with you. And for almost no effort at all.”
If you ask me, that’s probably one of the most important gifts leaders can give to those they lead. So check out this article for more insights and advice on how you can become more effective in giving praise to your employees.
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