10.3 Inspiring and Praising Employees to Build Morale (Continued)
When you praise in private, maintain eye contact and avoid distractions. Speak with passion and sincere appreciation. And don't follow praise by making a request; that can seem manipulative and undermine the goodwill you seek to establish.
At its best, praise serves as a management tool. If you want to induce certain behavior among your team, praise individuals already exhibiting it. To spur workers to propose ways to improve operations, praise the clerk who came up with a money-saving idea. To highlight the need for superior customer service, praise service representatives who inconvenience themselves to satisfy a demanding client.
Warning: Never praise out of obligation. If you sense that an employee craves recognition, don't feel you must find a way to compliment the person. Instead, dangle a challenge. If the employee accepts your challenge and delivers fine results, then your praise will truly matter.
THE EAP CAN HELP: Do you have difficulty praising employees and demonstrating a nurturing style in your relationship with them? Many supervisors face this challenge, but it can be overcome. Talk to the EAP to learn more.
In survey after survey, employees indicate that they value praise, recognition and a positive, high-morale workplace more than pay.