6 Powerful Leadership Strategies to Deliver Praise & Recognition

Transform Your Leadership – Power of Praise & Recognition

The #1 reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated.    Department of Labor

Increase Retention:  Gallup found that giving praise has a profound impact on a company’s bottom line, and their retention.  There is a 10% to 20% difference in revenue and productivity from employees who regularly receive recognition or praise for doing good work.  Employees who report that they’re not recognized at work are three times more likely to say they’ll quit in the next year.

 Strategies for Offering Praise & Recognition

 1)  What’s Our Purpose?  The most important strategy to motivate your team is to emphasize Purpose.  Leaders who reinforce the deeper meaning and purpose of someone’s work can have a significant impact on their performance.

 Example:  What – How – Why      Many leaders have no problem leading their companies with ‘What we do’ and the ‘How we do it’.  It’s rarer to see leaders address the ‘Why we do this’.  To truly inspire employees, the ‘Why’ should be the key driver.  The equation should be flipped:  Why – What – How.

Let your employees know ‘Why’ their work is important.  What does it accomplish?  Why is it important?  Who does it impact.  This motivates the team to work towards a higher purpose.

2)  Performance: Show your employees that you are aware of what is going on in the workplace by articulating appreciation for good performance.  Show them that you do pay attention to what really matters.

 Example:  Recognize a top contributor on a project.  Did someone on your team stand out on a recent project?  Is there anyone that was critical to the success?

“Thanks for your hard work on the last project, Sue. Your extra effort helped us deliver it on time and really wowed the customer. We couldn’t have made it happen without you.”

3)  Acknowledge Positive Traits: Employees want to be praised beyond performance and results.  Look for attributes that are equally important to driving the business forward.

Potential scenarios:  Communication and teamwork skills for bringing a challenging team together, resilience for coming back with strong results after a tough quarter, and personal values that mirror company values in handling a challenging customer dilemma.

“I really appreciate how you inspired the team to go above and beyond after last quarters disappointing results.”

 4)  Learn from Your Employees: Your employees experience many situations in the day-to-day:  problem-solving, listening to customers, observing what’s working and what’s not.  There is wealth of knowledge that can be learned from an employees’ experience.  Employees can be empowered by being asked to share their knowledge and expertise.

 Example:  Affirm an employee’s skills by asking him or her to teach you his or her methods, or to give you feedback on critical decisions.  This shows both great respect for their abilities and how much you value their expertise.

5)  Coaching for Change: What about those employees who may not be performing well?  Praise can help them too.  When you’re trying to coach someone’s weakness, praise can make all the difference.  It takes hard work and focus to improve at something you’re struggling with.

Example:  Think about when you were a kid trying to learn to ride a bike, swing a bat, or learn to read.  You had to fail many times before you succeeded.  What helped you keep trying?  A friend, family member, or parent encouraged you – keeping you on the path of improvement.

“Steve, I’m glad to see your how your commitment to the team has contributed to positive results.  Great job – keep it up.”   

6)  Mix It Up:  It’s easy to fall into a routine of using the same messages when offering praise.  To be effective, it’s important to mix up the messages.  Give it a try – the results will be a positive impact to your workplace culture.