Home » Raise or Praise?

I was reflecting back on some pre-training interviews with different organizations in the past two weeks. One theme was common – lack of positive feedback.
Of all the leadership tools at the manager’s disposal, positive feedback is one of the least expensive and highest payback actions. Instead of focusing so much attention on what is going wrong, make an effort to build on successes. Once employees see that you notice what they do right, they will be more likely to do more of what you expect. 
The belief that the paycheck is thanks enough for the work done still sadly exists in some companies. A paycheck is not a thank you, but rather the other half of a contract completed. We know that pay is number 5 on the list of what motivates employees, so if it comes down to money, then chances are your company must not be creating many other positive reasons to work there.
Consider a low cost alternative: Praising a job well done.
Human nature works against praise and thanks in the work place. We tend to take the good for granted and complain about the bad. Managers create more work for themselves when they only focus on what’s going wrong. By building on successes it makes the leader’s job easier.
Often managers themselves hear praise far too rarely. Praising people for doing something right starts at the top of the management team. And, if you want to positively influence your manager, tell him or her what they are doing right.
Some managers may think that offering praise will make people soft and perform at a lower level when in fact it helps the team elevate its performance.
Reflection Questions
Do you give enough positive feedback to others on what is going well? What impact do you see when you offer positive feedback?
Action Items

  • Play a game. For every one complaint or fault you discover, force yourself to find three positive things.
  • Build a desire for human connectedness in your life and this will manifest as a caring persona your employees will recognize as a caring human being. They’ll work harder for you.
  • Comment on positive things, not sparingly, but excessively.
  • Praise your boss when he gets something right. If you don’t like the boss waffling when making decisions, compliment him when he does make a decision quickly. This will encourage him to do more of the same so he can hear more compliments.
  • Encourage your team to praise the people they supervise.
  • Remember to praise and thank in a genuine manner. One sarcastic comment can poison the entire process.