Everyone enjoys an “attaboy,” but to get the most mileage from the compliments you bestow, be specific. When people know exactly what they did and why it benefited the company, you’re more likely to see the behavior repeated.
Try phrasing praise like this: “Joan, when you took it upon yourself to handle that customer complaint on your own, I felt relieved to know I can count on you to do the right thing even when I’m not around.”
Formula: Observation (what the person did) + Benefit (to the organization) = Meaningful recognition.
A Gallup Poll reports that over 60% of American workers say they received no recognition at all at work last year. What a crying shame! Recognition is the key to both motivation and retention and it doesn’t cost a thing. Are you recognizing the achievements of your top performers or are you going to wait until one of them quits?