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Encourage them: 5 ways to work it

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Five things you should know about positive reinforcement:
  1. Learn what each person needs. What works for one person won’t work for somebody else. It’s highly personal.

  2. Employees must earn it. Otherwise, it’s meaningless.

  3. Dispense encouragement often. Regular positive feedback should become a habit. Don’t make employees compete for it. You should hand out enough to go around.

  4. Make it immediate. Or people assume you want something else.

  5. Money doesn’t serve as the best reinforcer. High expectations should be part of the job, and praise reinforces the importance of the work and your employee’s contribution. Positive reinforcement solidifies working relationships. Letting people know you like their work implies that you like them, too.
—Adapted from Measure of a Leader, Aubrey C. Daniels and James E. Daniels, McGraw-Hill.

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