Praise Your Employees MORE Often
It’s clear that people can never get too much positive reinforcement. One overlooked reason that praise is even more needed is because one bit of negative feedback outweighs many bits of positive feedback. Put another way, you have to build up a big “bank” of positives to offset any negatives you’re conveying. Negatives are much more powerful than positives for most people. Just think about what happens when someone posts something negative online! It goes viral within a few hours. But something positive is simply read and the reader usually moves on.
Effective praise needs to be specific. For example, don’t say “Looking good there.” or “You’re doing a good job.” Instead, you could say “You’ve produced 10% more this month than last!” or “I appreciated you cleaning up that area without being asked.”
If customers make a positive comment about service they’ve received, pass it on immediately. Post any nice letters where everyone can see them, but only give negative feedback in private. Many companies give their staff a reward for every glowing letter they receive for exceptional service.
A gift card is a great reward for doing an exceptional job. It doesn’t have to be for a lot of money. And there are many other ways to show your appreciation with greeting cards, little sayings you can give them or put on their desks or put on an office bulletin board where all team members can see everyone’s acknowledgements. There are a number of companies online that specialize in employee recognition where you can get great ideas as well as purchase acknowledgement gifts and cards.
At Bressler & Company, we designed a token with our logo on it, and they are passed out to team members for special acomplishments and work anniversaries. Each token is worth a set amount of money. For work anniversaries, they receive one additional token for each year of service. They can be redeemed for gift cards or movie passes so that gives our team members a lot of choices.
If the person you want to reward isn’t doing a good enough job to deserve positive feedback, follow the tips in the little book The One Minute Manager. Praise people for being approximately right or on the right track. Behavioral research has shown for a hundred years that positive reinforcement works better than negative input. People appreciate it when you acknowledge their effort even if they don’t fully succeed. That type of praise shows your appreciation for their efforts and hence is motivating and drives further improvement and definitely helps in retaining trained team members.
People just like to know they are appreciated. If they feel they are not pleasing you or that you don’t appreciate them, often they start looking for another job. Those are two of the most relevant reasons for employment changes.
If you would like some ideas with acknowledging your team members, you can call Marji Denham, in our Marketing Department. She specializes in coming up with great ideas. Her number is 559.924.1225, Ext. 3016.