I Have To Praise You Like I Should

Before there were T-Mobile and Trident viral videos featuring choreographed dances in public places… there was Fatboy Slim and their wildly popular (at the time) video “Praise You”. Employers facing retention issues and high turnover rates should pay special attention to these deep, thought-provoking lyrics: “I have to praise you like I should.”

While most companies are aware that they should praise and recognize their employees, many don’t prioritize employee appreciation initiatives. When done correctly, praising an employee will boost their morale and motivate them to work harder and achieve loftier goals. It’s a proven retention technique! Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Employees feel the same way when their manager recognizes their superior performance. Staff members are much more likely to stick around an organization if they feel appreciated.

Be prompt. It’s crucial to recognize an employee in a timely manner. Don’t let praising an employee slip your mind. Make this practice a priority on your to-do list. If an employee puts in four extra hours one night to go above and beyond for a client, make a point to thank them the very next day. Praising them for their efforts two weeks later does not have the same effect as immediate recognition. They’ve most likely already gotten annoyed that their efforts have gone unnoticed. However, it’s better late than never!

Say thank you and mean it. People aren’t stupid. Well, most people anyway. Employees can tell when you’re going through the motions without sincere feelings behind your actions. Your employee recognition efforts should be genuine, not hollow. Staff members will see right through a form letter or email. Take the time to be personal. Say, “Susie, I really appreciate you working overtime on the XYZ account last night. I hope you still had enough energy to read little Tommy a story when you got home.” Don’t say, “Hey, thanks for your hard work.” Can you see the difference? If you offer praise on a personal level, employees will understand that you are genuinely thanking them and that you sincerely care about them as a person.

Go public. Let other team members know how much you appreciated Susie staying behind to get the job done. This will make Susie feel great while proving to your other personnel that you’re not a heartless jerk.

If you are a heartless jerk who doesn’t praise staff members, here’s something to think about: what comes around, goes around. If you appreciate and recognize your employees, they’ll do the same for you. Everybody wins!

Thomas Delorme
Written by Thomas Delorme

VP, Digital Products & Strategy

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