Appreciation Matters

Recently, I ran across an article that discussed how to effectively motivate employees. I am going to recap some key points from the article.

There are many motivational tools out there, but I have found none more effective than praise, recognition, and positive reinforcement. As a leader, you can only benefit by rewarding behaviors that you want to see repeated by your employees.

Let’s go over the “how to’s” of motivating your employees:

  • Give Praise — Immediately praise your employees whenever you notice a worthy action has occurred. You can do this verbally or in writing. Give praise with enthusiasm and authenticity.
  • Give Recognition — Recognition validates your employees. Asking your team members for their feedback and input in important issues raises confidence. Recognize their achievements at staff meetings in front of other employees or in your Agency Newsletter for a greater impact.
  • Give Feedback — If you want your employees to improve, you must offer feedback that is heartfelt, truthful, positive, and detailed as soon as the praiseworthy action has taken place.

Here are some tips to help you improve feedback:

  1. Be specific, direct, and focused with your comments. Focus on the action, not the employee.
  2. Offer constructive criticism for poor performance behind closed doors and piggyback with suggestions for improvement.
  3. Be encouraging when asking for improvement and focus on their strengths and skills.
  4. Follow-up feedback with an email or a note making sure your communication was understood and will be acted upon.

So, what is the “take away” here?

If you want your employees to thrive, then learning how to give feedback effectively can only benefit you and your agency.

I’ll finish with a quote from Sam Geist, a business management expert and best-selling author:

"Highly motivated employees outperform less motivated employees right down to the bottom line."