So, where do you start? Building the opportunity to recognize employees into your organization won’t happen overnight. If the supervisors and managers in your company haven’t been doing it all along, if praise isn’t a part of your corporate culture already, you’ll need to start with the basics.
- Listen to people
- Look for opportunities to recognize
- Praise them for their work
First, managers must learn to listen to the people they work with. Simply listening to employees’ perspectives on company problems, ideas and issues makes people feel valued. People become motivated when managers take the time to consider their input. To be a better listener, establish eye-contact, take notes and ask questions. Show you’re truly interested in what’s being said. Active listening tells employees that their input is important… and they are important.
Next, managers must make a conscious effort to look for opportunities to recognize employees. You may have a million items on your to-do list, deadlines to meet and projects to finish. Even so, take a few seconds to stop and look at the activity around you and recognize employees. Instead of waiting for the problems and mistakes to find you, go out and look for the achievements and successes.
By focusing on what goes on around you, you will become more aware of the qualities that make your organization work: teamwork, cooperation, communication and people. At first, you’ll have to stop and make time to look for these golden opportunities to recognize employees. After awhile, it will become second nature.
If you want to change the culture of your company… if you want to create a positive, team building environment… if you want a staff of motivated, energized workers… make a commitment to recognize employees. This is the single most important step you can take.
Keep it simple for starters. Follow the 3-to-1 Rule of praise: reward the first three instances of excellent performance with a social acknowledgment (a pat on the back, a compliment, a thank-you note) and praise the next one with a tangible employee appreciation gift (a certificate of appreciation, lunch or a day off).
Send a free ePraise card any time, any day to say thanks or tell someone great job.The small encouragements that happen immediately after the behavior are the most effective.
Praise reinforces, recognizes employees and motivates desirable behavior. When you praise people, you make people feel good about themselves and good about their jobs and help promote workplace motivation. Almost magically, attitude improves and morale is bolstered. The best is yet to come… these recognized, motivated employees will prove to be the most productive people around.