3 Principles for Praising Employees

Praising employees often and effectively is a key skill for any coaching leader who seeks to accelerates employee confidence, ability, and loyalty.

We’ve all been in situations where we’ve felt unrecognized, disregarded, or taken for granted. When we find ourselves in this kind of environment, whether at work or in our personal lives, our motivation weakens and we seek to find appreciation in other places.

If there was one word I would use for what occurs when a leader praises an employees effectively, it would be VALUE.Trophy2

One of the greatest needs that we all possess is simply feeling that others value us as a person.

We’ve all heard that we need to say thank you and praise people in a timely manner. However, true recognition goes deeper. It seeks to get to the heart of what the person needs in order to feel valued and appreciated on the job.

Here are 3 principles for praising employees

1. Value the person more than the action. We all want to be valued for who we are more than just what we do. Managers can easily fall into the trap of recognizing or praising only behaviors. Look for opportunities to communicate the person’s character, talent, and intent.

2. Point out their unique contribution. As you communicate (written or verbal), express the strength and contribution of each employee. Be specific about what the person brings to the team, organization, and even the world.

3. Point out the impact of the person’s behavior. Be intentional about going beyond the behavior to highlight the impact it had on others. This not only provides feedback and reinforces the high performing behavior, it communicates to the person that you recognize how he/she influences and impacts others.

Here are some example praise statements that utilize these 3 principles.

“Your presentation was excellent. I believe the group now has a very clear understanding of the project. We are fortunate to have you and your strength of communication on our team!”

“Thank you for your hard work on this. You have a great work ethic.”

“The way you handled that conflict really showed your patience and commitment to helping every person on this team succeed.”


1 thought on “3 Principles for Praising Employees”

  1. Thank you for mentioning the art of praise! It really is important to let people know that their hard work does not go unnoticed.

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