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By Darryl Stewart

An awesome strategy for praising employees

Offering praise to employees can be tricky business for managers.

One of the purposes of offering praise, beyond recognizing a job well done, is to motivate your employees. Daniel Pink has done a wonderful job of summarizing the work of many experts as it pertains to creating intrinsic motivation. That is, people doing things well because it feels right to them and they want to do it.

This is the opposite of “carrot and stick”, “do it or else”, “do this and get a reward”, kinds of motivation. Intrinsically motivated people are happier in their work and perform better in almost every type of work.

On the subject of offering praise Pink has summarized the best tips for making sure you are promoting intrinsic motivation:

Praise effort and strategy, not intelligence. People who are praised for “being smart” often believe that every encounter is a test of whether they really are. So to avoid looking dumb, they resist new challenges and choose the easiest path. By contrast, people who understand that effort and hard work lead to mastery and growth are more willing to take on new, difficult tasks.

Make praise specific. Give people useful information about their performance. Instead of bathing them in generalities, tell them specifically what they’ve done that’s noteworthy.

Praise in private. Praise is feedback, not an awkward ceremony. That’s why it’s often best to offer it one-on-one, in private.

praiseOffer praise only when there’s a good reason for it. Don’t kid a kidder. People can see right through fake praise in a nanosecond. Be sincere, or keep quiet. If you overpraise, people regard it as dishonest and unearned. Plus, overpraising becomes another “if-then” reward that makes earning praise, rather than moving towards mastery of the work, the objective.

IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.