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How to Give Words of Encouragement and Affirmation to Your Employees

Managers motivate employees by providing encouragement that is specific, frequent, and tailored to the individual employee. Successfully bolster morale and productivity by following these tips for doling out praise.


  • Step 1: Have a good sense of timing. Notice when your employees have had a particularly good day. Employees appreciate when their supervisors notice and respond to strong performance with timely pride or appreciation.
  • TIP: Give encouragement when employees have had a bad day as well. The pick-me-up can help the employee focus on the positive and avoid dejection.
  • Step 2: Don't say "You did a good job." Instead, give credit with affirming words that are specific to the accomplishment. For example, "The extra analysis you produced was key to successful conclusion of this project. Thank you!"
  • Step 3: Look directly in the eye of the employee you are encouraging and give a sincere smile that communicates your care and interest in them.
  • Step 4: Provide encouragement in a way that is best suited to the recipient. For instance, praise an employee publicly if they like the attention. If such attention would embarrass a shy employee, find a more intimate setting to give them a pat on the back.
  • TIP: Deliver an affirmation in writing to shake things up and give employees a lasting reminder of your support. Try sending an e-mail, text message, or even a sticky note.
  • Step 5: Invest in your employees and your company by continually affirming the work your staff does. Infrequent encouragement will fade away into the daily grind, but a culture of praise will keep your office productive and upbeat!
  • FACT: A 2010 study showed employers prefer new graduates from state schools over elite colleges.

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