Monday, January 9, 2017

How to Improve Your Corporate Culture - Just Praise Them

6 Keys to Effective Praise

Like the Nike slogan, “Just Do It.” praise is a leadership act in and of itself.  Unlike giving thanks, praise is more than just saying “Thank you” for a job well done.

So if praise is a required leadership practice and if it is more than just thanking, then what does effective praise look and sound like?  Here are 6 key actions leaders can practice to give more effective praise: 
  1. Be Sincere – Praise should be given with the other person in mind.  The praise is for them, not for us.  It should come from a place of wanting to congratulate the other person, a sense of liking, and being proud of the other person.  Praise is done with a smile and real caring.  “What you did is sort of appreciated” is not good praise as it is neither sincere nor will it probably be appreciated.

  1.  Be Specific – Make sure to include the details.  Instead of saying “Excellent job” a more impactful praise would sound and feel like “Congratulations on an excellent presentation, specifically because of all your written preparation and the open questions you asked to engage the audience.”  Also, if praise is given to the behaviors observed, they are more likely to be repeated in the future (which benefits the persons getting and giving the praise).

  1.  It Should Be “Free” – There should be “no strings attached” when giving praise.  The praise is given without expecting anything in return.  Although praise should be a “win/win” for both parties, the main priority of praise is to give and not get.  The more you do this, the greater impact your praise will have.

  1.  Be Proportional – “FANTASTIC JOB OPENING THE DOOR – YOU DID IT PERFECTLY – NOT TOO SLOW OR FAST.”  This is too much praise for the act of opening the door.  Praise in accordance to the value of the job done.  Do praise the effort and not just the result.  The more often you praise the effort the more likely you are to get the result.  Remember to praise in public and address points of improvement in private.

  1.  Focus on the other person (“You” versus “I”) – Start the praise with “You did excellent work….” Versus “I think the job was well done…”.  An example of a specific, sincere, proportional praise focused on “you” is “Congratulations, you did great work, specifically on all the tiny details like following-up with everyone, the 16 hour days you put in and turning in the completed project 2 weeks early and 20% under budget.”

  1. Praise versus Thanking - Thanking is directed toward us “Thank you” for doing a good job “for me”, giving a gift “to me” or making “me” look good.  True praise starts with “Congratulations” “Excellent” “Amazing” “You do great work…”, etc. 

You can practice praise at home by saying, “Congratulations on all the hard work (finishing all your homework in one sitting), dedication (doing it everyday) and 1-2 hours you put into doing your homework when you get home from school.”  It is the work that gets the grade so praise the homework first and the grades second.

At work you can say things like, “Congratulation on the sale for the smaller client”.  “I know that all the hard work you put into this sale will get you an account like Coca-Cola as sometimes these smaller ones take the same or more work than the bigger ones – You are a winner and go for the gold!”  This example is from a boss I had and it inspired me to get a large sale with Coca-Cola.  My manager did not degrade me for the small sale by saying something like “is that all you could get”, “that will not even make a dent in what we need to get”, or “that is so easy a child could have gotten that sale”.  Instead, he pumped me up to go for the “big fish”.

In 2017, make praise part of your leadership culture.  C3 – Corporate Culture Consulting helps companies recognize, and make praise and other key leadership behaviors part of their culture through consulting, development programs and keynote addresses for improved retention, more promotions, happier and more satisfied employees and up to 3X more profit per employee, 4X faster revenue growth and 50% better employee retention (according to a Harvard Business School).

Remember that as Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”  It does not matter what strategy you have if your people do not want to implement it.

Did you know that if you lose 1 person because of culture it could cost you $25,000 to $350,000 to replace that person?  How much is not focusing on culture costing you and your company? 

Invest in your leadership, management, sales, customer service, etc. values/behaviors/culture in 2017 with C3 and see some of the best ROI per dollar spent and a large, sustainable competitive advantage.  Put culture consulting, development programs, etc. into your budget for this year and contact us.

John Waid
Founder & CEO
C3 – Corporate Culture Consulting
Tel.  1-404-915-3051


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