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10 Easy Ways to Praise


Clip and save these ideas for boosting performance.

Ideas from "Dr. Kudoz" (at

1. Practice "concentrated" recognition. Call a team member into your office just to thank him or her for doing a good job. Don’t discuss any other issue, or else you will dilute the effect.

2. Establish a "traveling" trophy. Buy a trophy and present it to a deserving employee in your area. That employee will then have the responsibility to select the next person to be recognized and explain why.

3. Remote employees often suffer from "out of site, out of mind" anxiety. Fax a note or leave a voice-mail today for someone in a branch office just to say thanks.

4. If you distribute paychecks, write a note on the stub that recognizes each person’s individual contributions during that period.

5. Spread the wealth. Managers rarely accomplish anything without a lot of help. When you get a promotion, or receive recognition yourself, acknowledge the contributions of your support staff by taking them out to lunch.

6. "Trophy value" lasts a lot longer than cash. Take a photo of someone being congratulated by his or her manager. Give the photo to the individual or display it in a prominent location. Start a "Hall of Fame."

7. Ask a senior manager to attend a team meeting during which you recognize people for their achievements. Or use the "star power" of a top executive by arranging a personal call to thank a team member.

8. Invite the team or department to your home after hours—perhaps to celebrate the completion of a project.

9. Recognize outstanding skill or expertise by allowing an employee to mentor another. This also demonstrates your trust and respect.

10. The next time you hear a positive remark about someone, repeat it to that person as soon as possible.

Workforce, January 2000, Vol. 79, No. 1, p. 63.


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