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(c) by Mary Griggs

I was in conversation with a client today about improving morale. I asked her about how often she and her managers praise their employees. She couldn’t recall the last time she had said more than a general “Good job” to the staff as a whole.

While most managers know about the importance of rewarding employees for good work, they fail to see how giving praise is one of easiest and most cost effective way to do so.

Here are some tips:

1) Praise with purpose: Praise is not the same as a compliment. Telling an employee that you like their New Orleans Saint’s sweatshirt is a compliment. Telling an employee that their skills at resolving complaints is a valuable asset to the organization is praise.

2) Target your praise: Praise specific accomplishments and not just for ordinary performance. “You’re doing a great job” is so vague, it can apply to anything. “You did a great job in developing the after school program” is much more clear and concise.

3) Praise in proportion: Praising an employee too frequently waters down the effectiveness of your praise; on the other hand, praising too little can also be ineffective.

4) Praise in public: A public mention of praise will help to improve the morale of all the employees. Consider a brief mention at the next staff meeting or just sending a note to their supervisor (give the employee a copy).

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