How to Praise Your Employees

Dec 20, 2011

Whether you have a formal system in place for rewarding your top employees or just praise employees whenever they do an exceptionally good job, it’s important to take the time to recognize excellent employee performance both for the benefit of your employees and of your business as a whole, according to Jeff Haden, who covered the topic in a recent CBS MoneyWatch article.

“Recognizing effort and achievement is self-reinforcing: When you do a better job of recognizing employees they tend to perform better — giving you even more achievements to recognize,” Haden wrote.

Haden offered nine tips for giving employees the recognition they deserve, including:

Treat each employee like a snowflake. “No employee responds the same to recognition,” Haden wrote. “Most appreciate public praise, but some get uncomfortable when singled out, even for positive reasons. Your goal is to know your every employee so you can recognize each one in the manner that produces the greatest impact for that person.”

Be very specific. “General, all-purpose praise is nice, but specific, factual praise is great,” Haden wrote. “Don’t just tell an employee she did a good job; tell her how she did a good job. Not only will she appreciate the gesture, she will know you pay attention. And she’ll know exactly what to do the next time a similar situation comes up. Praise is just another form of training.”

Even the scales. “Recognizing your best employees is easy; in fact, consistent recognition may be one the reasons they are your best employees,” Haden wrote. “Spread the feedback wealth whenever you can. A little recognition and praise may be all a sub-par performer needs to shift into a higher productivity gear.”

To read the complete CBS MoneyWatch article, click here.