Recognition and praise in the workplace can be a huge motivator for employees and an element that boosts engagement, productivity, and company loyalty. For this reason, the organization as a whole can benefit when managers are willing to hand out honest praise freely. How often, exactly, should you tell employees they are doing good, though?
Did you know that only about one out of every three American employees has received praise in the last week? According to a poll from Gallup, workers commonly feel that their best work goes without recognition.
Recognition and praise in the workplace can be a huge motivator for employees and an element that boosts engagement, productivity, and company loyalty. For this reason, the organization as a whole can benefit when managers are willing to hand out honest praise freely.
How often, exactly, should you tell employees they are doing good, though? After all, if you're constantly congratulating everyone for tying their shoes in the morning, you'll likely find that your high-fives carry less meaning.
Let's dig in and take a look at everything you need to know.
While it can be good to set reminders for yourself weekly to consider whether you've communicated to your employees that they're doing a good job, it's best not to get too routinized when handing out recognition. Having a weekly review where you send out well-deserved positive feedback is a great idea, but being overly structured about showing recognition can mean you miss an easy opportunity to let your employees know they're doing good.
According to the Gallup poll listed above, recognition is most effective when it is authentic, honest, and individualized to how each employee desires to be praised.
Letting an employee know that they've done great work doesn't necessarily have to cost anything at all, and it can greatly impact their work performance and morale.
Ultimately, promoting a recognition-rich environment is often beneficial to all parties involved.
As long as the feedback you're giving is well-deserved and honest, you really can't ever give too much recognition. When people receive praise that they know is genuine, it can make a huge difference in how valued they feel.
Showing appreciation doesn't have to be a big deal; a little bit can go a long way. So if you're looking for ways to show your appreciation, take a look at this post with 21 tips to show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work.
Considering the ample benefits of praising your employees regularly, it's surprising that more managers don't do it more often. In the same Gallup survey cited above, roughly 65% of Americans haven't received any positive feedback or praise from their higher up in the last year.
As you might imagine, this can make employees feel like their work isn't noticed and that how hard they work doesn't really matter.
It's hard enough to take the time to show praise for your employees in an office, and the challenges attached to working with a distributed team are amplified in this regard. When you aren't seeing people face to face, they get much less feedback, even from your tone and body language. For this reason, it's even more important to be deliberate about telling your employees that they're doing good when they are, in fact, doing a good job.
When an employee knows that their higher-ups are seeing the hard work they've been doing, they tend to be way more engaged. They understand that what they do makes a difference and is seen, encouraging them to put their head in the game on future projects. When it feels like they're screaming into an abyss, though, it typically takes a seriously negative toll on engagement.
Keeping engagement high is even more challenging when your whole team is working from home. Check out these tips for keeping remote employees engaged.
Receiving regular, honest praise also helps to boost productivity. In reality, recognition for good work releases the neurochemical dopamine in people's brains, boosting the sensations of pleasure and pride. As humans, we are hardwired to continue seeking this feeling, which means that we will perform more good work to receive more praise, thus making us more productive.
While hundreds of factors can influence workplace productivity, there is definitely a major connection between productivity and motivation. Check out this recent post about how employee motivation affects productivity in the workplace.
We all know that keeping morale and motivation high in the workplace can be difficult, but providing regular praise when it's well-deserved can have a huge impact on both of these factors.
Morale, motivation, engagement, job satisfaction, productivity, and employee retention are all intricately linked. Directly tied together, you'll find that organizations with high morale typically have healthy company cultures, engaged workers, and highly productive workflows.
Are you wondering how to help increase morale for your workers when your team is distributed? Check out this recent post about how to boost employee morale when working from home.
Who wants to wake up every morning and perform a job that no one seems to notice they're doing? Why would you bother putting your all into a project when you have every reason to believe no one particularly cares about the quality of the finished product?
It makes perfect sense when employees have low job satisfaction when they never receive any praise for what they're doing. Your team dedicates a big chunk of their week, every week, to working for your company. When they don't get any feedback in return, it creates the illusion that they don't need to put in any more effort than the bare minimum.
In fact, when you don't praise your employees, you're practically asking them to start slacking off. After all, who wants to be the sucker going above and beyond when they could be making the same amount of money simply phoning it in?
When people receive praise for the work they're doing, it helps them recognize that the role they are playing is meaningful.
When you openly communicate with your team that they're doing a good job with regularity, it can help to reduce turnover and increase loyalty to the brand. We all know how difficult it is to build a strong, healthy company culture when someone leaves for a new job every other week. In order to create a workplace that isn't constantly stuck in a pattern of two steps forward and one step back, it's important to hold onto a core group of engaged, committed, and motivated employees.
Considering that we're in the midst of what is being called The Great Resignation, managers have good reason to figure out how to retain employees in the long term. While there are a lot of tactics you can use to encourage your workers to stick around, being an honest, authentic, and genuine manager that hands out praise regularly when it is well-deserved can make a huge difference.
If you're telling everyone they're doing an awesome job every time they respond to an email, there's a good chance your recognition will lose its value. However, if you withhold recognition, it can lead to employees feeling underappreciated and unmotivated.
The best advice is to give praise only when it is honest and genuine. That being said, there are certain times when it can be particularly appropriate to share praise with your team.
Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking, and the first few weeks a person spends at a company are essential to their future performance and understanding of the company culture.
It can mean a lot to new hires to receive praise during onboarding. This can help them know that they are both welcome and on the right track.
When you see someone on your team stepping out of their comfort zone, consider taking a second to cheer them on. If your employees feel like there isn't any benefit to stretching beyond their normal capabilities, or, worse, they believe that they will be looked down upon if they fail, you'll find that no one is particularly willing to take any risks in the workplace.
It can be scary to try to take on new responsibilities or learn a new skill, and encouraging your workers to do so will ultimately benefit both the employee and the company overall. After all, your organization can only be as good as the people who make it up, and a culture that encourages personal growth is a culture that thrives over time.
While it's good to hand out small praise when it is well-deserved, it's also important to celebrate big milestones employees have with a company. As the manager, you'll want to be the first person to congratulate and thank the employee for their hard work with the company.
Celebrating milestones and anniversaries with your employees can go a long way toward increasing employee retention. No one wants to work for a company where they feel invisible and interchangeable, and making a point to give praise at these moments can make a big difference.
When you're deciding how to celebrate work anniversaries for your team, it's a good idea to think about the ways that they would most appreciate being recognized. For example, an introverted person might not want a big blowout party where they're the center of attention and expected to give a speech.
Though we might be a bit biased, we've personally found that a pizza party is a great equalizer when it comes to celebrating work milestones.
If a person on your team has been working hard to receive a promotion and they finally got it, take a moment to celebrate with them! Office politics can sometimes be harmful, with a competitive nature between colleagues or even managers and their subordinates. Going out of your way to let them know how happy you are for them and how well-deserved the position is can mean a lot and contribute positively to the culture.
If you notice that one of your employees is really going above and beyond, this is a great time to say "good job!" After all, you want your workers to put their all into their projects, and recognizing a job well done when it happens is exactly how you can produce more of the same results.
On the other hand, if someone really puts all of their efforts into something and produces the best possible finished product, only to hear crickets, you're teaching them that it isn't worth their time and effort to do their best work.
Even though we might spend a lot of time at our day job, we all also have personal lives that can get a bit chaotic sometimes. If one of your employees has a lot going on both at work and at home, feel free to reach out to them and let them know that they're doing a great job.
As a manager, it's essential to remember that your workers are humans with their own lives. While a team member constantly bringing personal drama into the office (whether virtual or otherwise) can pose serious problems in the workplace, it's important to recognize that everyone will have personal issues to deal with from time to time.
When you're working with a remote team, figuring out how to say "good job" can be a bit tricky. Sure, you can send an email or let your employees know that you appreciate their hard work when you have a video call.
Do you know one of the best ways to really let your workers know that they're doing a great job? A pizza party.
If you want to throw a pizza party for your distributed team but don't know where to begin with the logistics, you've come to the right place. Let us plan a pizza party for you today.