Richard Denny Your Success Coach
Every recruitment agency in the land will agree that by far the major reason for people leaving an employer is due to not feeling appreciated or valued. Let me remind you of that powerful phrase, “people don’t leave companies, they leave people.” I equally believe, and my experience has shown, that this lack of appreciation is one of the major causes of high absenteeism that some in the private sector, but many more in the public sector, do suffer from.
Why are so many managers unable, unwilling or simply forget to say a thank you and show appreciation to their staff? It’s just not good enough to have the pathetic mind set of believing “that is what they are paid to do.” This lack of appreciation is very rarely uncovered or disclosed at the exit interview. Apparently the British psyche does not handle praise well. But praise and recognition are fundamental and vital leadership skills and qualities.
So if you want to keep your people, staff and colleagues; help them to be more competent; increase productivity and create a happier working environment; positive constructive input and loyalty; praise and care for your staff. After all, they are your customers, so follow these tips:
- Praise in public, criticise in private. Let other people hear you giving praise. You will get more of whatever you recognise, reward or praise.
- Understand the individual. Some people need more praise than others. Some people have great difficulty in receiving praise.
- Be authentic. The praise must be yours even though it may have been told to you by someone else. It must be owned by you and believed by you. If the praise worthy event is related to you from another source get your facts right, but again take ownership of the praise, while giving recognition to others.
- Deliver praise with sincerity, with eye contact, with pleasure and with happiness. You know body language communicates more powerfully than the spoken word.
- Be timely. Yes, of course some praise is better late than never but really make the effort to give it as near to the event as is humanly possible. This just depends where praise lies in your priority of life.
- The recipient really must deserve the praise and the event must also be praise worthy.
- Praise should also be geared to the impact of the actions that were deserved. In other words, you are sharing the ramifications of the success that is forthcoming from the praise worthy activity.
- Praise will change behaviour so you will get more of whatever you are praising and recognising. So be careful. If you praise people for working long hours you will get more people working long hours, but this may not be productive and is generally unproductive.
- Get the balance right. Too much praise is completely ineffective. Can you recall old Mr Grace from the TV programme Are You Being Served saying “you are all doing very well”, every time he met his staff.
- Be brave. Step outside your comfort zone. Give a little praise and enjoy.