4 tips for praising employees effectively

Everyone loves a good pat on the back. Being recognized for a job well done can substantially increase a person's pride in their work, commitment to the cause and overall happiness and quality of life. However, oftentimes, managing your small business usually ends up creating a high-stress situation where mistakes are pointed out more frequently and with more vitriol than praise is doled out. This can create a company culture whereby employees are not comfortable or proud of their work, but instead live in an environment where fear of being chastised is prevalent. Beyond simple incentive programs – such as bonuses for high sales figures – verbal praise can act as the rising tide that significantly lifts all the boats of employees. Here are some tips on how to praise your employees effectively.

Don't wait or hesitate
According to Inc. Magazine, the more time that passes between an act of great performance and the subsequent recognition, the more diminished the impact of said praise. Once the positive results of a particular assignment have rolled in, managers should immediately seek out the responsible employee and offer a simple congratulations or job well done. Positive reinforcement can often act as a great motivator for bigger and better things ahead.

Praise in person
Entrepreneur Magazine recommends walking through your office or small business and thanking employees for their hard work in person. An email offering congratulations or pointing out strong performances can seem impersonal. However, even the smallest verbal confirmation of good work can put brighten the moods of employees, while encouraging those around them to seek out that same positive reinforcement.

Spare the compliment sandwiches
Compliment sandwiches are a popular managerial tool, where constructive feedback is sandwiched around two unrelated compliments in order to soften the blow. However, the news source notes that employees often hear the criticism a lot louder than they will the praise. There's a time and place for constructive feedback, but make sure that does not overlap with the times of praise.

Productive failure
Sometimes, things just don't work out as small business owners would like them to. Instead of disparaging employees for struggling here, thank them for their best efforts and their hard-fought attempts to succeed. The employee doubtless feels as deflated as you do, so criticizing him or her will only bring them down unproductively even further.

What are some creative ways that you have taken to recognize employees for jobs well done?

Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a Senior Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.