Most people would love to be appreciated for a job well done. This includes your suppliers, customers, co-workers and even your boss. People who get recognition for their work are usually more motivated. They are more committed to their organizations and jobs since they know their efforts do not go unnoticed. Such people are also more likely to build good relationships at the workplace.
Here are some tips for giving sincere and memorable praise:
1. Praise frequently
Praise should be given as often as possible. When people are praised in a sincere manner, they eventually come to understand what kind of behavior is rewarded. This is very important especially when you are trying to mold the work ethic and behavior of a team. Offering more praise than criticism will encourage people to be more loyal, creative and diligent.
2. Be specific
When giving praise, you need to be as specific as possible. Comments such as ‘Well done!’ or ‘Good job on that project!’ are fine. However, it would be more effective if the praise was more specific. For example, you could say ‘You attention to detail on that project was amazing. Keep it up’. When the other person knows exactly what they did well, they will be encouraged to maintain the same standards.
3. Praise appropriately
Every organization and team has people with varying personalities. In addition, different people are motivated by different things. While some people would prefer being praised in private, others would like to get recognition publicly. Therefore, you need to take time to figure out what kind praise would work for each of your team members.
4. Don’t just tell…show
Praise is usually given in a written or verbal form. However, there are many other different ways of showing appreciation. For example, asking a team member to lead a new project shows that you recognize their leadership abilities and expertise. Or asking a colleague to conduct training for new staff shows that you respect his character and work ethic. Therefore, it would be advisable to add some action to your verbal praise.
5. Spread your praise
In many cases, it is the most hardworking or skilled employees that get recognized frequently. However, don’t limit your praise to only such individuals. Find something to praise in other team members as well. It is such recognition that could unlock their potential and transform them to outstanding performers.
6. Be culture-sensitive
Before giving praise, you need to understand the cultures of the people you are dealing with. While giving praise publicly is normal for some cultures, it is frowned upon by others. Carry out your research to get an idea of the cultural norms of the people in your team.
Always be on the lookout for the opportunity to appreciate someone’s efforts. However, though giving praise is vital, it should be done moderately. When you praise people too much, your compliments might end up losing meaning. In addition, you need to avoid asking people for favors after praising them. You will only appear to be using praise to manipulate them.