How to Praise Good Performance

by Ian McKenzie on February 25, 2013

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You should remember that, as a supervisor, you’ll always get what you reward. if you ignore good behaviour, you may lose it and perhaps a good employee as well. While this may appear to be common sense, it is far from common practice.

We like to be recognized for doing good work.  We crave praise, but do not always like to give praise. One of your jobs as manager is to make sure you give out praise as often as possible. In the workplace it really holds true because it is a place where they spend on average 40 hours a week. People want to be happy and secure in a place where they spend so much of their time.

It only takes a few seconds to say, “Thank you,” and “great job,” but you get plenty of return.  It’s easy and effective. Timely praise can work wonders.

Here are some guidelines on giving praise:

Make it immediate – Your recognition will be most effective if it comes as soon as possible after the desired activity or achievement has occurred. Saving your praise for a later date will weaken its impact.

Be sincere – Your praise must be genuine and balanced. It will lose impact if it becomes regular and predictable. Don’t exaggerate and say things you don’t really mean.

Be specific – Avoid generalities like “great job”. Wait for a specific action to praise and then say something like, “You
did an excellent job of expediting that order today”

Praise good performance – Praising good performance is an effective way to inspire people to improve in weak areas. Don’t praise ordinary performance.

If you praise your workgroup for doing routine jobs, in a routine way, you’re not motivating them to do better —
and it will makc the praise you give them for excellent work seem less significant.

Give it meaning – Avoid simply recognizing employee achievements in passing. Rather, try to spend sorne time
with them so that they know their efforts to the workgroup and to the organization are recognized.

The supervisor must remember that employees thrive on recognition. They want to know if they are improving and
performing in their jobs. Delivering simple, direct praise for a task well done is the easiest way to show that recognition.

Supervisors who fail to realize this are depriving themselves and their employees of one of the most powerful forms of inspiration to shape desired behaviour and performance.

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