It is very easy to underestimate the power of warm words, encouragement and thanking your team members, offering praise and recognition for a job well done.

 Why do people need praise?

It’s commonly acknowledged that being praised often makes people feel good. Pride, pleasure, satisfaction and increased feelings of self-worth, self-esteem are all common responses that people enjoy when they are extended a compliment or receive positive feedback.

The process of being recognised triggers the release of dopamine. This is a neurotransmitter that helps control the reward and pleasure aspects of the human brain.

As well as making us feel good, dopamine can also contribute to innovative thinking and creative problem-solving at work. If you reward and recognise someone for a job well done, they are likely to anchor this experience and it fuels their motivation to sustain their place in your respect.

However, these types of positive effects are relatively short-lived if they are rare and isolated instances of positive feedback. People need to feel consistency in the attitude of a leader. It is not just about constant recognition. It is about constructive feedback that is delivered with warmth, humility and a desire to see people develop and to help themselves.

A man named, Jim Harter, who is Chief Scientist at performance management consultancy called the Gallup Organisation states

“recognition is a short-term need that has to be satisfied on an ongoing basis”.

Gallup’s research indicates that people who report that they are not adequately recognised at work are three times more likely to say they will leave in the following year.

The positive impact of praise

Psychologists and researchers have a fascination with the positive effects that a work environment can enjoy via a liberal scattering of genuine praise.

Back in the year 2004, the Gallup Organisation conducted a worldwide research project. This surveyed more than four million employees on the importance of praise and recognition.

The survey concluded that those employees who receive regular praise are more committed, productive, motivated and much more likely to stay with their organisation versus those who receive no positive feedback.

The survey results also indicated that employees who are praised receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers and even enjoy better health than employees who are not.

Meanwhile,  something known as The Carrot Principle presents the findings in a staggering 10-year motivation study. In this study more than 200,000 employees and managers were interviewed.

In their final analysis of the results, the two authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton concluded that report that when managers are considered to be effective at ‘recognising’ their employees, they:

  • Sustain their team members better than other managers
  • The results of their team are usually better than other departments and teams
  • Are acknowledged to be much more focused and competent in goal-setting, communication, trust and accountability

Gostick and Elton describe recognition as a ‘simple but transformative act’, and report a strong link  between manager recognition and team / employee morale.

Of the workplace participants who reported the highest morale in Gostick and Elton’s study, 94.4 per cent agreed that their leaders were effective at recognising team members’ efforts and achievements. Meanwhile, 56 per cent of employees who reported low morale gave their manager a poor rating for the delivery of positive feedback and recognition.

In 2008, consultancy firm Towers Watson published the results of their own Global Recognition Study. This reveals a strong link between leader / manager recognition and employee engagement.

The study indicates that, even in organisations with a low-engagement culture (in other words one where there are few development opportunities and wellbeing is not treated as a priority) manager recognition can still have a significant, positive impact on employee engagement.

In their report, the Towers Watson researchers reflect on the significance of what they refer to as ‘uplifts’ – positive experiences that boost morale and motivation at work.

The simple task of offering praise and recognition for a job well done is one of the ways in which managers can create such moments for their team members. According to the report, leaders who do this are often more respected and admired by their leaders.

In addition, people who experience uplifts at work are more likely to work harder and more willing to go out of their way to help their peers or support their organisation.

The offering of genuine praise and recognition,  when it is warranted and earned, costs little but studies indicate that it can even be as effective as giving someone a financial reward.

In 2008, strategy consultancy White Water Strategies reported that being praised can have the same impact on career satisfaction as being awarded a one per cent pay rise.

Meanwhile and very interestingly, the Japanese National Institute for Psychological Sciences has investigated the neurological impact of praise. They discovered that being paid a compliment activates the same part of our brain as receiving cash!

 Delivering praise

As we have proven in the evidence we have shared so far, there is a great deal of research to suggest that praising people at work is beneficial. However, the way in which the praise is delivered has a significant bearing on its effectiveness.

The Gallup Organisation has pointed out that only genuine achievements should be praised. The offering of unwarranted praise is seen as false and offers little value. Indeed, Gallup declares that ‘unearned praise can do more harm to an individual and a workgroup than none at all’.

As I set about the joys of coaching my team, the delivery of genuine praise forms the cornerstone of my coaching style. I have seen people make remarkable progress simply on the back of being given genuine praise. I have seen people with no confidence go on to take control of their mindset and financial destiny.

About Julianna Beavan

Julianna Beavan is one of the world’s most respected Business Coaches and Network Marketers. With a proven track record in helping people to take better control of their financial and lifestyle circumstances, via exciting options that exist in the health & wellness sector. Julianna is often commended for her inspiring coaching style – never neglecting the important human aspects of being warm, supportive and humble towards all those who approach her with a serious business appetite and the discipline to succeed.

If you would like a totally free and no strings attached personal consultation with Julianna, please make direct contact via this website. Here is a personal message  from Julianna. Julianna guarantees you will have an opportunity to consider working directly and personally with her.

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