For years, you’ve heard that you should praise employees for superior work. But how?
Some managers equate praise with a quick, encouraging comment (“Great job,” “Thanks for your effort”). Yet that’s only one of many options you can use to convey appreciation.
It’s better to choose from a range of approaches to express admiration or enthusiasm for an employee’s excellent performance. Here are five examples:
1. Targeted compliments. Some people value specific, timely praise. Signaling that you’re aware of their extra effort or sacrifice heightens their allegiance to you.
2. Taking time to listen. For employees who place less importance on receiving praise, dishing out compliments isn’t especially motivating. Instead, they may crave more of your time.
Setting aside 15 minutes to meet with a top performer can provide a lasting impact. Use that time to spur that person to open up, offer ideas and share concerns.
3. Spring into action. Because action speaks louder than words for many people, you’ll motivate certain personalities by making supportive moves that resonate with them. Examples including hiring extra help to alleviate their heavy workload, giving them a half-day off or enrolling them in a training program to prime them for a promotion.
4. Give gifts. Presenting something of tangible value to a deserving star often works wonders.
5. Try a fist bump. Appropriate physical touch can serve as its own language of appreciation. High-fives, fist bumps or a congratulatory handshake can help employees feel like star athletes. Avoid anything that’s even remotely sexualized or unwanted.
— Adapted from “Not Everyone Appreciates Your Type of Appreciation,” Paul White, www.greatleadershipbydan.com.