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Only Give Tribute to a Chosen Few

How hard can it be for a manager to compliment each employee every once in a while? It costs a business lots more money to replace an employee than to retain one—so why not keep your current employees happy?

    Now, there will always be some employees who will perform so outstandingly that they just seem to generate more praise than others. There’s no question it’s important to recognize truly outstanding efforts. But every employee has the potential to go above and beyond in some area. Watch for each employee’s strengths and find something to praise.

    Watch out for something else as well. Sometimes employees who receive large amounts of praise let it go to their heads. If they take the ongoing tribute as a hint that they’re above the law in the company, their merits will quickly fade. So that’s another reason not to give the appearance that you’re playing favorites.

    The manager has to make it very clear that each and every employee plays an important role in the company. “Both committed and non-committed respondents agreed on the importance to see the organization set examples. For the former, exemplarity was a motivator factor in the sense of Hertzberg (1959) while for the latter the absence of exemplarity was a reason for rejection (as an unsatisfied hygiene factor)”.8

    The best teachers are those who will always have a good word for everyone; no matter how good or bad the outcome. Can you imagine what would happen if we decided not to encourage the toddler who just starts to walk, no matter how often she falls down in those early attempts?

You are the best horse in my stable…

Who do you motivate?

How do you motivate?

8Tessa Melkonian, Change Acceptance: The Role of Exemplarity, p. 9. Dr. Melkonian is Associate Professor of Management and Human Resources at the European Institute for LifeLong Learning. She holds a Ph.D. in management from the University of Paris and a degree in clinical psychology from the University of Lyon.


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Two other Opinions:

  1. Cecilia
    08:52 on Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
    Great topic Frank!

    I would even go further and expand that to some parents - how hard can it be to compliment each child every once in a while?

    For some people happiness - especially in the workplace - is something bad. But isn’t it true that we spent more time at the workplace then at home?
  2. Frank Kanu
    08:58 on Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
    You are right Cecilia.

    How children are raised and treated shapes how well a manager or leader they become.

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