Monday, November 17, 2008

Thought of the Week - 11/17/08

“The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned.” -- Dale Carnegie

As the old saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” In other words, you will get far more from your employees by catching them doing what’s right, rather than catching them doing what’s wrong. Praise and encouragement will do far more to reinforce desired behavior than criticism ever will.

Genuine praise is a critical tool in both developing and maintaining positive employee morale and engagement. However, praise alone (i.e., general statements of appreciation, “pats on the back,” etc.) often falls short of the mark. Moreover, if given continuously or without specific examples it can seem shallow and/or contrived. What’s worse, it may even send the message that you really don’t know specifically what the individual does or how they are actually performing.

On the other hand, providing “encouragement” in addition to praise can go a long way to building self-esteem and pride in one’s work. For example, being specific about a positive interaction you see between an employee and customer or between two employees not only tells the employee that they are doing a good job, but it also lets them know that you are noticing what they are doing.

What have you done lately to show your staff that you are aware of the positive things they are doing to help move your organization forward?

How much of your time do you spend trying to catch your staff doing what’s right, rather than doing what’s wrong?

When you do catch them doing what’s right, how specific are you in the praise and encouragement you offer?

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