Praise, recognition and criticism are important and effective management tools in daily work.
Employees whose managers know how to adequately appreciate good performance are demonstrably more motivated. However, many managers struggle to award praise and recognition - or, in contrast, criticize unacceptable behavior.
You can encourage performance as a manager, but you can also slow it down. Find out here how you can avoid demotivation among your employees. Often, praise and recognition are simply “saved”; some reasons could be:
- Good performances are taken for granted
One does not have to recognize every good performance, but in any case the good performance observed for the first time (especially in the introductory phase).
Outstanding achievements should always be recognized.
- There is no need for praise and recognition
"Catch" your employees when they do something well. Do not only praise excellence, but also continuously good performance.
- Recognition increases thinking
Usually only if the manager expresses the recognition so rarely that it is associated with an "outstanding" achievement.
- Own recognition deficits are passed on to the employees
Managers usually adopt the behavior of their superiors. If these are themselves little valued, this behavior pattern is transferred to their own employees.
Main mistake in praise and recognition
It is important to avoid these errors:
- Person-oriented rather than factual recognition, always focus on performance and not the person
- Recognition as an introduction to criticism. This "bad habit" has already led employees to wait after recognition to see whether criticism follows. Criticism and praise must be strictly separated from one another if the effects are not to cancel each other out! The so-called “sandwich technique” can only be used in feedback discussions.
- Recognition for motivation for unpleasant tasks. This is not really supposed to be recognized, but actually manipulated.
- Recognition for self-reinforcement. In this case, the recognition emphasizes that this achievement could not have been achieved without the contribution of the manager.
- Excessive or vague recognition. Accept moderately (i.e. appropriately) according to content, duration and form. Also, always say what exactly was good (and maybe how the behavior / performance affected you and / or the positive behavior can still be used to profit or loss).
- Acknowledgment given too late. The psychological reinforcement effect wanted with praise is only possible with difficulty if it is recognized too late; Recognition must be given promptly if it is to work efficiently.
- Schematic recognition. The same choice of words, gestures and facial expressions or hackneyed phrases ("Keep it up, Anna!") Significantly reduce the motivation value with permanent repetition.
- Recognize individual (group dynamically weak) employees in front of the group. If poorly performing employees are also praised “over the clover”, this often results in negative reactions to more powerful employees;
- It is better to recognize this “in private”. Acknowledgment at the expense of other employees
- Disregarding individual maturity. Low-performing employees need more and different recognition than high-performing employees.
General ways to motivate employees
Of all the examples mentioned, this is the easiest and most effective way to encourage others: Show that you are really interested in what the other person is doing or wants to achieve. Ask questions, admire. Nothing works stronger.
Ask for advice.
It is the most subtle form of praise - and hardly anyone can resist this request to pass on their skills and knowledge because they are asked to do so. Firstly, because you elevate him (He the master - you the student); second, because he can immortalize himself in this way. After all, you are continuing to extend his profound knowledge. And in the end it is just a very edifying feeling to have left something good for the world.
There are people who like to help. As soon as they see problems, they tackle or do the things that need to be done without being asked, as if it were a matter of course. But it is not. And lack of gratitude can quickly make these people bitter. Then they just feel exploited. Sad and momentous - because not infrequently they are the good souls that unite you.