In Praise of Praise

August 8, 2014

I received an email from a colleague today praising a document that a member of our marketing team put together particularly well. I’ve had a fairly productive day, but likely the best task I did today was to find out which team member put that piece together and forward on the praise. It was received well by both the one complimented and the one doing the complimenting.

Everyone loves receiving praise for their work. Who wouldn’t? But there’s more of a benefit to giving praise than just making a colleague feel good. There are true organizational benefits to sending employees compliments. An engaged employee is 22% more productive. And the organizations they work for are twice as productive as those without engagement. Engaged organizations enjoy less turnover and better attendance.

Many among us have had that boss who lets you know clearly the moment you have a misstep, but is quiet when you score a victory. Demoralizing isn’t it? Employees have needs in their working careers. Some are larger drivers than others and when met, contribute greatly to an employee’s engagement levels. These things include the promotions and monetary benefits, of course, but just as important, arguably more so, they include feelings of being valued and appreciated and that their role is important to the organization. They want to feel like they are making a positive contribution toward something larger than themselves. Noting a colleague’s success does exactly that for them.

They say that people don’t leave companies, they leave bosses. But that leaves the impetus for all elements of engagement solely on an employee’s supervisor, which is not really fair. The supervisor is not the only one who can reinforce a great effort. Anyone who sees an example of exceptional work can praise it. So be on the lookout for something done right and make sure its author (and his or her supervisor) hears about it!

One response to “In Praise of Praise”

  1. Carlos Ostria says:

    Well said!

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