We had some great feedback on The Three N’s of Employee Fulfillment article and video. Plenty of great comments. Here’s a very short refresher in case you missed it. Leadership expert Tim Durkin shared with us that our employees want to be needed, noticed, and known. We welcome him back this week with a simple feedback technique connected to his Three N strategy that will help you motivate and keep your best employees.
The short version of this is to not just praise the performer, but also the performance. It’s very simple. You not only praise your employee, but you tell them why you appreciate what they’ve done.
For example, you could say, “Great job, Bob! Thank you for your hard work.” Nobody will argue that an employee wouldn’t appreciate their boss giving a little praise. But we could do better, and it’s very simple to do so.
Tim suggests that instead of just saying, “Great job and thank you,” get a little more specific about what you’re praising. You could say, “Great job, Sarah. Thank you for your hard work. I realize you stayed late a couple of nights to get this report finished. We couldn’t have handed our proposal to the client if you didn’t put in the extra effort. Thank you again.”
Specificity is the key here. Don’t just say, “Thank you.” Expand on why you are saying, “Thank you.”
I realize this is something very small, but sometimes, as the saying goes, good things come in small packages. A slight nuance to the way you share praise can have tremendously more impact.
You can decide how much specificity you want to share. Just be careful how often you use it. You don’t want to “gush” all over your employees every time you have something nice to say to them. It diminishes the impact. To quote another old saying, “Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing.” Still, you should always praise a job well done. So, be careful and praise often, but also appropriately.
One other thought on sharing praise. It’s a motivator. People like to be told they are doing a good job. It makes them feel good. And people like to repeat what makes them feel good. So, praise away! And remember to praise both the performer and the performance.