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Friday, January 25, 2019

Lean Quote: The Sweetest of All Sounds is Praise.

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"The sweetest of all sounds is praise." — Xenophon

Praise is one of the most powerful things a leader can offer their team. When delivered well (and well-deserved), praise gives people the drive and motivation to continue doing the caliber of work you want to see.

Offering praise to your employees is all about recognition. Most workers thrive on feeling appreciated. As an employee, knowing that what you are doing means something to your boss and to the entire business gives you a feeling of worth and it can motivate you to continue to get better at what you do.

The happier your employees are working for you, the more engaged and productive they will be. Receiving praise is empowering. It doesn’t cost you anything to congratulate and praise your staff. However, not giving them credit when and where credit is deserved can cost you big time.

It’s not always easy to know when or how to praise people on your team. You only want to reward great performance, and it’s easy for routines to make you blind to steady, reliable work.

The best formula for recognizing an individual for their efforts is:

Thank the person by name.

Specifically state what they did that is being recognized. It is vital to be specific because it identifies and reinforces the desired behavior.

Explain how the behavior made you feel (assuming you felt some pride or respect for their accomplishment!).

Point out the value added to the team or organization by the behavior.

Thank the person again by name for their contribution.

It might seem like a lot, but really praising others and saying "thank you" probably won’t take you much more energy in the day. Regularly putting a few minutes toward making sure others feel properly acknowledged for their efforts will go a long way to building the positive workplace you envision.

There's little doubt that praising and recognizing the efforts and achievements of others can bring about some very positive results in the workplace. Being praised makes the recipient feel good about themselves and this can help to boost their performance. Praise provides the kind of positive experience or 'uplift' that can increase employees' morale, motivation and engagement, and renew their commitment to their manager and the organization. 

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