One of the most important things you can do as the manager or business owner is to acknowledge the great work of your employees. A simple praise goes a long way! A recent article in Business on Main entitled, The Power of Praise in Business and How to do it Right, provided some best practices for praising employees for work well done. The article noted that when providing praise follow these best practices:
- Do it now (soon after you see the behavior you want to encourage and praise)
- Do it often (emphasize the behavior so that people focus on what you want)
- Be specific (be specific and sincere about the behavior you saw)
Taking time out to acknowledge the great work of your employees is such a simple thing to do; yet too often we don’t do it enough. We are more apt to bring up problems with employees rather than acknowledge the good stuff. Which is always interesting to me since praising is certainly easier than having those tough conversations! However, I find frequently that it is a matter of time for managers and small business owners. We have so much to do in such little time on a regular basis that we just don’t take the time to say “thanks” and praise employees for their good work.
In addition to the helpful advice in the article; consider these suggestions for regularly acknowledging employee’s hard work:
- Know what your employees are working on so that you can acknowledge what they are doing. Too often, especially in larger businesses, the head of the business doesn’t know what employees are working on and relies on their managers to acknowledge employees’ hard work. That’s great – and they should do that certainly as the direct supervisor – but imagine how the employee feels when the “big boss” knows what they are doing and offers praise for their work!
- Be sure to point out the good work of employees at department meetings, all staff/all hands meetings and other company forums. Acknowledging the hard work of others in front of the rest of the staff is a great morale booster! Consider a slide that includes the employee’s name and the project/task they worked on as you personally thank them.
- Have an internal company newsletter or portal site? Mention the great work of your employees in the newsletter or on the portal. I’d start by speaking with them personally and acknowledging their hard work (always nice to hear from you directly!) and then put a “Thanks” for all to see in the newsletter or on the portal.
You don’t need to offer a monetary reward or other gift – a simple “Thank you for the work you did on XYZ project and specifically in communicating with the stakeholders of that project” goes a long way in showing an employee that you appreciate their efforts. And as the article mentioned – catch them soon after good work they have done – don’t let it go too long before you acknowledge them.
So what are you waiting for? Get started now!