Praise to boost engagement

02 Aug 2016

Boost employee engagement by giving people a PAT on the back. How? By following NICE steps.

Praise motivates and builds confidence

Praise motivates and builds confidence

Acknowledging contributions, praising good ideas, thanking others for being reliable make others feel good about themselves. While random acts of kindness and appreciating kindness in others reinforces a culture where people feel valued and unthreatened.

Recent studies consistently show that the lack of recognition and thanks is often listed as a primary reason for employees’ leaving the business. Equally, they also show that the impact of receiving positive acknowledgement and appreciation lasts longer than the delight at receiving a pay rise.

Praise is one of the most readily available, yet under-used approaches in a leader-manager’s toolkit.

Acknowledging & Appreciating others for their attitude, performance, skill, contribution is powerful.

Thanking people for their thoughtfulness, cooperation, reliability, team-spirit is a great way to reinforce behaviours you wish to generate more of.

But….It must be genuine. Employees can tell when you lack sincerity and if they feel manipulated, trust is more likely to break down.

Ask any manager and some will say that they praise staff well; others will say they know they should do it more…. yet others justify not doing it because ‘I’m paying them to do their job’. Mmmm… I wonder when was the last time they were appreciated… and to what extent would they receive it gracefully if they were.

It seems so simple… and yet, so many managers are shy of or reluctant to doing it. Because we’re shy or reluctant, we get little practice. Like all well honed skills, it takes practice and repetition to refine what we do.

“Give praise generously and take it with grace”

Done well, praise, acknowledgement and thanks can do far more than build motivation. It builds a culture of cooperation and well-being…. and these drive employee engagement and high performance.

Here’s a really simple NICE method for giving praise, appreciation and thanks. Practice and refine it to build your confidence and skills…. as well as theirs.
N – Note the behaviours, attitudes and actions you want to re-enforce positively

I – Identify an individual you wish to encourage; find them doing something right.

C – Clearly state what you wish to praise or acknowledge– be specific and be genuine

E – Explain the benefits of their actions to themselves, their team and/or the business

When it comes to impact, offering thanks in public, whether it’s in front of the team, a client group or in a meeting adds an important extra dimension. The person being appreciated will feel extra good (tho some people do squirm a little inside at the same time) and it encourages others to emulate the behaviour, attitude or initiative.

If you’re in any doubt of the power of PAT, think back to a time when someone (a parent, teacher, boss, friend) made you feel valued and motivated to do your best. How good did that feel ?

The power of your belief and encouragement in someone else, is massive. Best of all, giving NICE positive feedback is easy and takes just moments, but the effect is lasting.

Use your power to boost employee engagement and the ‘feel good’ factor in the team, with a well timed PAT on the back. See how it raises spirits and renews energy – and let me know how you get on.

Till next time, let’s all keep flourishing.

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