Are you honoring the wrong things?

Some think giving too much praise makes people lazy and indulgent. They’ll settle into the notion your organization is lucky to have them.

Choose praise points carefully. Praise creates culture.

You get what you praise. Saying, “great job,” celebrates a completion and allows recipients to define “great.” Praising completions makes people feel they’ve arrived.

Honor progress and process more than completion.

It’s all about the journey.

Rather than saying, “You’re great,” highlight the fact that they stayed late to help their team meet a deadline.

Honor behaviors connected to values, mission, and vision. Honor behaviors that create results.

Honor and explain the impact of behaviors on other employees. Don’t say, “Great job.” Say, “Mary is encouraged and our safety record is preserved when you keep your area clean.”

Jack Welch said, “Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.”

Honoring behaviors more than completions gives people courage to repeat desirable behaviors.

Honor and explain the impact of behaviors on the company. Say, “When you leave your station to help Bill it keeps the line moving and helps us surpass quota.”

Honor the energy and effort that got the task done.

If you’re concerned that “too” much appreciation makes people over confident and lazy, start honoring the right things. Honor hard work, collaboration, support, service… the things you value and want to see more of.

Honor fuels fires; be sure you’re fueling the right ones.

Celebrate victories too:

Honoring behaviors and attitudes that create wins inspires more behaviors that create wins. On the other hand, keep honoring the wins too.


How do you use praise to motivate desirable behaviors?


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