A cellular sound interrupts Abigail as she stumbles into the house after a long day of work. She drops her things, glances at her phone and sees that she has a text message from her boss.
She nervously opens the message and reads: “Hey, great job on the presentation today!”
She lets out a great sight of relief and then smiles, feeling appreciated and confident.
Tell Them When They’re Doing Good, Too
It is just as important to praise your employees for doing a good job as it is to correct when they’re doing something wrong.
Many business owners correct and give guidance to their employees, and rightly so. When you’re running a business, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees are carrying out business processes the right way.
However, if you’re only correcting and never (or rarely) complimenting, it can eventually wear your employees down.
The Negative Results of a Lack of Positive Feedback
- They feel like they are never good enough. When an employee does not ever or often receive praise from their employer, they can begin to feel that the work they produce is never good enough to deserve praise. A lack of positive feedback regarding their job performance can cause them to be self-conscious, stressed, anxious or depressed.
- They may consider looking elsewhere for employment. When a job isn’t offering an employee the fulfillment they need, they may decide to find another employer that they believe will provide a more positive experience.
- They begin to associate how they feel with their work environment. If your employee is feeling unappreciated day-in and day-out, they will begin to associate their work with a negative atmosphere. This will cause them to complain, feel useless and quickly dislike their job.
- It puts a strain on the relationship between you and your employee. An employee who feels thankless or taken for granted will eventually build up bitterness toward their boss. This unspoken emotion will grow and affect their job performance and how they treat you, your clients and your other employees.
It’s Not Enough to “Think” a Compliment
It’s easy to remember to give constructive criticism because when something is done incorrectly, it’s a red-flag that causes you to speak up in order to ensure it’s done correctly next time.
However, we as business owners must make it a priority to encourage our employees on a job well done.
We may think to ourselves, “Wow, they really outdid themselves on this project,” or “I am lucky to have them as an employee,” and then go about our day without saying anything.
But, it’s not enough to think it. You have to speak it.
Don’t get me wrong, constructive criticism isn’t bad. It is needed, valuable and crucial to a running successful business and managing a successful team. It becomes bad when it is the only thing that is communicated to your employees.
The Benefits of Encouraging Your Employees
- It immediately gives them more energy. When a boss communicates that they are pleased with a worker’s performance, it ignites a both a feeling of relief and happiness. Positive words uplift and empower others.
- It boosts their confidence. Just hearing the words, “Good job,” can mean the world to an employee. Those type of remarks communicate to an employee that they are talented and valuable. A confident worker is much more attractive, efficient and hardworking than one who lacks confidence. And you as a business owner have the opportunity to help instill confidence in your employees through the words you speak.
- It improves their work ethic. Hearing positive feedback from someone puts a pep in your step. It makes your employee want to continue pleasing you by producing work that is equally as great, if not greater.
The Bible has several words to speak on this topic as well.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” – Proverbs 16:24
If you want to have hardworking, confident employees who will stick around and invest in your company, you must ensure that you compliment them on excellent performance.
Your employees desire for you to be proud of them. Maybe you are… and they just don’t know it. My challenge to you is to communicate your appreciation for them, your satisfaction with their performance and your recognition of their hard work. Encouragement goes a long way.