The Power of Praise and Appreciation

There is lots of science out there about the power of praise. It includes words like dopamine and neurotransmitters and nucleus accumbens. But science aside, it’s just human nature to respond to recognition.

Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, put it this way, “Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”

Praise and recognition are more important than you may realize. This Gallup report reveals that in a company without much recognition, production and revenue decrease as much as 10%-20%, and employees are three times as likely to leave the company.

What do praise and recognition do for your company?

  • Keeps your employees engaged and boosts morale.
  • Shows them you see and appreciate what they do.
  • Motivates and inspires your team.
  • Builds trust between you and your staff.
  • Reinforces good work habits.
  • Starts a ripple effect, creating a company culture of positivity and encouragement.

7 Ways to Show Your Staff You Appreciate Them

Employee recognition programs look different in different companies. What works for your business may not work for the company across the street. Regardless, here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Write a thank-you note: It’s lost art, but Nothing quite beats the feeling of receiving a handwritten note saying, “Thanks for your effort, you’re the best!”
  2. Make it public: Almost everyone enjoys the spotlight from time to time. Recognize and give shout-outs to your employees at team meetings and on social media. It shows the star employee you appreciate them and lets the rest of the team know you’re watching. (Of course, respect the employee who does NOT like public recognition with quiet one on one applause)
  3. Give surprise gifts: Movie passes, coffee shop or restaurant gift cards, and other tokens. When you see an employee do an outstanding job, reward them! It’s a great way of saying, “You’re fabulous! I appreciate the work you do — now enjoy a cup of joe on me.”
  4. Peek behind the scenes: Chances are, there are people on your team working behind the scenes. Make sure to keep an eye out for them and their efforts, too. Be intentional about acknowledging their hard work to the rest of the team.
  5. Give a party: Maybe your whole staff just pulled through for you, and they all deserve a pat on the back. Host an event or a team dinner to commemorate their diligence.
  6. Encourage their feedback: A great way to show appreciation to your team members is by listening to them. It shows you respect and trust them. Take time to ask them how they thought a project, or a workday went and what they think could be better.
  7. Sincerely compliment them: Compliments are free, and, as Sam Walton says, “worth a fortune.” Try out some of these –
  • “I appreciate you. You make a difference in this team.”
  • “You are a great example to others.”
  • “Thanks for being a team player.”

Better yet, be specific, such as –

  • “I appreciated your leadership in the meeting.”
  • “Your organizational skills made an impact on the project’s success.”
  • “Thank you for staying past hours. I know it was a sacrifice, but it made a huge difference.”

No matter what you say or do in acknowledging your team’s performance, be sincere.  

At Hamilton Connections, our goal is to help you build a praiseworthy team. Whether you are looking for, temporary, permanent, full-time, or part-time, we want to help connect you with the right talent. Questions? Contact us today and let us be your placement specialists!