Think for a minute about all you have done today. Now, from that list of tasks, how many would you say you have done well? Again, from the list of tasks you feel you’ve done a good job on, how many were you praised for by your man­ag­er or even a co-work­er? We all crave approval and praise from oth­ers in our life. The work­place is no excep­tion. Praise moti­vates us to do well and to improve. Praise is nec­es­sary and praise is pow­er­ful. Fol­low these easy steps to build an effec­tive habit of praise in your organization.

The WHY of Praise

Before we can get into the HOW of praise, let’s touch on the WHY. Accord­ing to Gallup.com, “Recog­ni­tion for good work releas­es dopamine in the brain, which cre­ates feel­ings of pride and plea­sure.” Peo­ple want to feel like oth­ers see them and appre­ci­ate them. The praise-giv­er also receives ben­e­fits from this exchange. By giv­ing praise, you get the same sense of sat­is­fac­tion as you get when mak­ing a char­i­ta­ble gift or help­ing oth­ers. An envi­ron­ment of praise-giv­ing is one where indi­vid­u­als work, not just to com­plete a task and be done, but they work to do a good job and to please their man­ag­er with hard work that is done well. Also, in terms of employ­ee engage­ment, a man­ag­er who reg­u­lar­ly prais­es their team, is one who is

The HOW of Praise

Giv­ing praise is easy and, if you fol­low these sim­ple tips, it is also an effec­tive tool to moti­vate and encour­age those in your workplace.

Make it QUICK

When you notice some­thing that should be rec­og­nized with praise, do it imme­di­ate­ly. The more time that pass­es between the event and the recog­ni­tion, the less pow­er­ful the praise becomes. Make it a habit that when you see good work or good behav­ior, you stop what you are doing and give praise.

Make it SPECIFIC

Now that you have rec­og­nized the behav­ior or project that deserves praise, you’ll want to make the praise spe­cif­ic. Offer­ing a vague com­pli­ment like, “You did good” doesn’t tru­ly speak to the spe­cif­ic action that is praise-wor­thy. Instead, make your words of affir­ma­tion ones that point to a spe­cif­ic instance like, “The logo you cre­at­ed for the Mile­stone mar­ket­ing project was clean and real­ly inventive.”

Make it GENUINE

You may be tempt­ed to adopt this new praise pol­i­cy and start dol­ing out com­pli­ments left and right like a praise shot­gun, but, don’t. Disin­gen­u­ous praise is almost as bad, if not worse, than no praise at all. You can tell if some­one is mak­ing a forced com­ment or one that has no thought behind it. Instead, make sure the praise is giv­en with a gen­uine heart and tone.

Cre­ate a CULTURE of praise

As you fine tune the act of giv­ing praise in your work­place, your final task is to cre­ate a cul­ture of praise-giv­ing. When you build this cul­ture, and every­one is active­ly involved in rec­og­niz­ing their peers, you will find the morale and engage­ment in your office is lift­ed high­er. Increased morale and engage­ment also increase pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, low­ers absen­teeism, and low­ers turnover.

Praise is incred­i­bly pow­er­ful. Praise has the pow­er to moti­vate, encour­age, and build. By fol­low­ing the sim­ple tips out­lined here, you can unleash the pow­er of praise in your orga­ni­za­tion and in your life and reap the ben­e­fits to both the giv­er and receiver.