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Monday, April 2, 2012

When did you last receive praise?

This month I want to talk about the power of appreciation and praise. When did you last receive praise? Whatever the reasons, it is most certain that you must have felt good about it.

Praise is a very powerful motivational tool, costs nothing, is easily disbursed and the majority of people respond to it positively. When I conduct training courses, I find that most of my participants put praise and appreciation at the top in terms of its motivational value.

Research has shown that people crave and yearn for recognition. When they receive genuine praise for something well done, it builds up their self-esteem and confidence. Once they realise that a particular behaviour is seen to be praiseworthy, they will start to repeat the desired activities. This is highlighted in a survey involving more than four million employees carried out by Gallup worldwide.

In the survey it was found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise:

a. Increased their individual work productivity

b. Were more likely to stay with their organization

c. Received higher satisfaction scores from customers

d. Had better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.

Managers should therefore make an extra effort to utilise this powerful motivational tool in their daily interaction with their employees. From an individual perspective, always look for the positive aspects of people. Make a special effort to recognise and praise good behaviour and you’ll soon see it being repeated.

From a team or department perspective, always compliment your staff on their successes and accomplishments. Tell them when you think they have made progress or done a good job. You can do this one on one or better still, in public. The motivational value of praise goes up considerably when it is done publicly.

My view is that currently, the majority of employees do not receive the amount of praise that they rightly deserve. As a result, they are less productive, and in many cases, completely disengaged in their jobs. I always wonder why this simple and easy way of motivating is to a large extent ignored by those in management. It is as if management feels that since employees get their salaries paid every month, that is reward enough. This cannot be further from the truth.

A word of praise, a personalised email of encouragement or thanks can make all the difference to how people feel about their jobs. Managers who are able to harness the power of praise and appreciation will be the managers who will most certainly have high performing subordinates, and more importantly, happy subordinates.

Source: Heera Singh April Newsletter

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