The Power of Praise: 'Thank You' Goes a Long Way
Don’t hold off until annual performance reviews to praise stellar employees. A simple “thank you” here and there can boost efficiency and even help your business make more money.
According to new research (and, perhaps, the laws of common sense) companies that excel at employee recognition are 12 times more likely to generate strong business results than those that do not.
In companies focused on rewarding their workers, employee engagement, productivity and customer service were about 14% better than in those that skimp on recognition, the study found.
The study was conducted by advisory services firm Bersin & Associates President and CEO Josh Bersin wrote recently that “high-recognition culture” companies share three common traits:
First, they build focused recognition programs which collect “thank you’s” and “feedback” from peers, not just managers. Second, they directly tie recognition to business goals and company values, so recognition reinforces strategy. Third, they give employees open and transparent access to the program – so everyone can see who is being recognized and anyone can recognize another.
But to really praise like a pro, start here:
1. Be specific and know your people: Inc. columnist Gail Browning recently wrote: Our research at Emergenetics indicates that most employees would enjoy a personal thank-you note, but they want it customized to them. For example, to say, "You're doing a good job," is fine for a "social" thinker, but a "structural" thinker doesn't trust you unless you add a specific task he has accomplished."
2. Consider the delivery: The way a thank you comes across is just as important as the thank you itself. Inc.'s Jeff Haden recently wrote: Every employee responds differently to recognition. Many appreciate public praise. Others cringe if they’re made the center of attention. Know your employees and tailor your recognition so it produces the greatest impact for each individual.
3. Get everyone involved: A thank you shouldn't be just one-on-one. Encourage your entire company to promote appreciation and praise. Inc.'s Jay Love recently advised: Insist on your department heads sharing stories from their departments and highlighting the achievements of team members at the monthly All-Company Meeting. Lively presentations that include photographs, videos and client comments make this one even better!