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Little known facts about praise at work

Little known facts about Praise at work

The easiest way to manage a team is to never forget your experiences as a team member!

Imagine you go to your office like every day and your manager talks good things about you in the office. You immediately get refreshed. It keeps you in a good mood all day. You are not alone. We all love praise. Surveys in the workplace point to the same conclusion.




McKinsey and Company is a respected name in the consulting world. They conducted a survey to study impact of financial and non-financial incentives. Survey respondents preferred praise from immediate manager to the cash bonuses. 

Refer to : http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Motivating_people_Getting_beyond_money_2460


 McKinsey report of 2009 shows that praise is prefered over cash bonus  


Popular belief is that monetary incentives are sufficient to motivate people. This result shows that praise is more important to people than even the financial incentives like cash bonus.

Praise is recognition of the contribution. It is for the job done well. Manager recognizing it and making a comment in public is very motivating.


Managers who understand psychology very well master the art of praising people. It requires conscious effort to praise people, because by default we look for gaps in performance.


Looking for good work i.e. consciously tracking good work is a good starting point.


For example, completing milestones on time is an achievement. At times, extra hours are required to achieve the milestone. Above all, it takes great determination to get over technical challenges.


Any activity that removes pain or adds to gain is worthy of praise.


Take-away: Consciously noticing good work requires efforts.


Do not be selective about noticing good work.

Some people are more talkative, so they build a good rapport. They communicate their good work. It is easier to notice them.


Some people are good at providing support behind the scenes. They do not stop by and start a conversation. Noticing their achievements requires conscious efforts. They feel ignored if their good work is not noticed.


Take-away: Notice good work of everyone in the team.


Praise is not any social conversation.

Praise is not about greeting on birthday.


Many people talk with managers about their personal achievements. Someone buys a house. Someone attends music classes. It may be about acquiring new smartphone. As a matter of courtesy and to continue the conversation, you may nod your head and say good things.


These conversations only mean that you have good rapport with that person. Praise is about something that made a difference by achieving results.


Take-away: Do not confuse praise with any other conversation.


Time is an important element.


Immediate praise is more effective, because the achievements are still fresh in the memory.


Next time you notice some good work,

- Stop by the cubicle and say thank you

- Send a thank you note

- Send an email to the team and copy your manager


Take-away: Be the first one to praise.


Let me say it again.

The easiest way to manage a team is to never forget your experiences as a team member!


Please tell me what you think. Take part in this anonymous survey. We will publish results of the survey on May 1st. Survey closes on April 30th.


Update on May 1st: 100% respondents feel that "Praise works!" Thanks for your response.




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