Considering the uncertainty and fear that are sweeping through our country with the onset of the Coronavirus in the last few weeks, this topic seems especially fitting. Now is the time to encourage and uplift! Last week we went through our company’s outlook on goal setting and are taking time this week to move into the next step of the one minute manager strategy: One minute praising. This is by far my favorite part of the one minute manager series and I believe it is the most beneficial as well. Let’s talk a little bit about the benefits of infusing praise into your management style.

            When you take time to praise your people, specifically on working toward or accomplishing the goals you have set together, they will feel valued, competent, and have way more satisfaction in their work. I believe that creating an excellent company culture starts right here with positive reinforcement. It is just a fact that everyone loves to be called out for doing things well. People love to hear they are doing a great job, that is just human nature. And when we can make our people feel great and make the entire group more productive that is a pretty great win-win in my book. So, what does praising look like when it is done the right way? Here are the steps we include to make sure our praising has the greatest impact.

  1. Praise In public

As I mentioned above, everyone loves to hear they have done a great job. However, I think we can all agree that it makes it much sweeter to be praised in front of your peers. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. It can be a quick – “Great job resolving the issue with that customer on the first contact, Jen!” loud enough for the rest of the group to hear. This will encourage others to focus on their first contact resolution and will make Jen feel great!

2. Be Specific

“good job!” or “Atta boy” doesn’t always hold a lot of weight. It is so important that you are specific about what the person is doing well. Generally there are things that a person is doing well and things they still have opportunities with. This allows us to help them understand what exactly we think they are doing great at. It also reinforces which behaviors we want them and others to repeat.

3. Praise more than you reprimand

This is a concept that we have called building your praise bank. If you go into a reprimand and have not spent time consistently building the praise bank with consistent praise, you are likely to have a defensive employee with their guard up. They will assume you think the worst of them instead of knowing all of the things they have done well because you have been consistently telling them. Once you have built your praise bank with an employee you can be confident that going into a one minute reprimand situation, you will be able to speak to the issue at hand and the employee will still know they are a valued member of the team and you are working to help them.

            Teaching your staff and training yourself to praise in this format will help bring about a work environment where people are happy to come to work and feel much more like a team. As a company we have seen more effective supervisors and happier agents when we are praising effectively. We are able to retain agents longer and performance improves too. You will never regret spending time showing appreciation for your people!