There are two types of employees you should give appreciation to for a job well done. The first type is the employee who really needs recognition and validation. They seem to lack confidence and seek your approval for their work. The second type of employee who requires appreciation is…everybody else. That’s right. No one is above appreciation or immune to the benefit of receiving it. At every level, employees value a good “atta boy,” a timely pat on the back or an appropriate and sincere thank you. Some may deny that it’s necessary, but all feel grateful and become a little more engaged when appreciation is offered in the right way.
Here are 5 tips to make sure you are using employee appreciation effectively:
- Be specific with your praise. Make sure to be clear about why you are recognizing the employee. Don’t leave any mystery about what they did and how they did it. In this way you are clear what you are looking for and what you value. This makes it easier for the employee to repeat the action in the future.
- Be timely with thanks. You should try to tie in the appreciation as closely as possible to the occurrence that justified it. This reinforces the performance and allows for momentum from the activity.
- Be sincere in recognition. Employees can see right through attempts to garner favor or make a show out of rewards and recognition. A heart-felt and simple thank you is better than a lavish and insincere formal letter.
- Spread it around. Be sure that you don’t focus all your appreciation on just one of your team members. As long as they are performing well and have a reason for being thanked, be sure to be fair in your praise.
- Personalize your appreciation. Be hyper aware of the fact that everybody accepts appreciation differently. Although one person may love to be publicly recognized in front of a large group, others dislike the spotlight and would prefer a quiet thanks behind the scenes. Some may like to gather with their peers for a party in their honor while others may prefer a gift certificate for a restaurant where they can celebrate with their spouse. As an effective leader, you should already know and understand each of your people personally to realize what they value and what truly motivates them.
Everyone wants to be appreciated by their supervisors now and then. Follow the steps to make sure you are maximizing your efforts to keep employees fully engaged.