How essential is praise in business? I’ve seen various surveys over the last three decades demonstrating the power of praise in business. I’m often met with doubt when I claim recognition to be the number one factor in retaining or losing valuable employees. Many managers believe money is the prime motivator for most employees. While that may be true for the underpaid and truly money-motivated, praise is a more powerful incentive for most. Ask yourself this – have you ever accepted or kept a job that paid less than another opportunity? If you have, then money wasn’t your primary motivation. Has praise and recognition, being part of a team, a fun work environment, or exciting work been more important to you than money?

Are You Giving Praise in Business the Best Way?

In his book The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, Leigh Branham, says, “Employees need to feel a sense of worth. Feeling confident that if you work hard, do your best, demonstrate commitment, and make meaningful contributions, you will be recognized and rewarded accordingly.”

5 Ways To Use the Power of Praise in Business

  • Praise activities

Are you giving praise for more than results? By recognizing positive actions, regardless of the results, you not only show understanding and involvement, but you’re also reinforcing the behavior.

  • Praise character

Praising who someone IS, not just what they do means more. Instead of saying good job recognize the character trait behind the good work.

  • Praise soon and often

If the employee has done something praiseworthy, do it as close to the event as possible. If your praise is real, from the heart, and founded in fact, you can’t give too much praise. Caution: Not everyone wants to receive recognition the same. I like public recognition in front of my peers, but not everyone does. I often made this mistake until a teammate told me they didn’t like the public recognition. So, know your players.

  • Praise in writing

Write a thank you note, send an email, or send a card. Do you remember the last time you received a snail mail thank you card? Do you still have it? I do. It made an impact.

How important is praise at work? When praise is missing from the workplace, many employees will consider leaving to find it, and even if they stay, it can negatively affect performance and production. Losing valuable employees is painful. Finding replacements and training them is costly. Losing the personal connections made in the workplace takes a toll.

If you want to put a dollar figure on it, you can. According to the President of Bliss & Associates Inc., William G. Bliss, The cost of employee turnover is close to 150% of the employee’s annual salary.

Do you give praise as often as you should? Do you share recognition whenever it’s deserved? If not, let’s make a commitment to give more praise. Give praise every day, and your best people will stay.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also appreciate, How Recognizing Employees Helps your Organization.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.

Photo by Kushagra Kevat on Unsplash