Get More From Your Employees Through Positive Recognition

This is a guest post from John’s friends at

No matter how strong your business idea is, you’ll never be successful without the right employees. That’s why it’s important that you take steps to boost engagement and drive performance. Acknowledging your employees in a positive manner is one of the best ways to do so. Studies show that 89% of people derive more motivation from being praised for what they’re doing right than from being criticized for their mistakes.


However, acknowledging an employee isn’t as simple as telling them they’re doing a good job in their annual performance review. You must adapt your strategy to your particular situation in order to get the best possible results.


Rewarding Your Team Members


In many verticals, like sales, it’s clear that financial compensation represents the kind of recognition employees will value. Consider establishing a healthy relationship upfront by offering a bonus based on a new hire’s experience and skills, instead of dangling the promise of performance-based bonus in front of them like the proverbial carrot on a stick.


You should also take this opportunity to offer a fair salary. While many team leaders think they’re doing the company a favor by negotiating with new hires, this creates a tense relationship off the bat. In the long run, you’re better off showing that you value your employees from the start by offering them reasonable compensation.


Keep Them Motivated


Ideally, you want employees to develop intrinsic motivation. Case after case prove that this is a much more effective motivating factor than the promise of a bonus.


You can do this by making sure you regularly praise your workers for their efforts. Most people lack the natural confidence to simply know they’re a valuable member of the team. When you make it clear that you value an employee, they develop the kind of confidence that leads to a sense of intrinsic motivation.


On the other hand, when workers are constantly afraid of being called out for a mistake, their ability to think creatively or find pleasure in their work diminishes. As many experts point out, fear is a poor motivator in the workplace.


Help Them Grow


Being rewarded certainly makes an employee happier and more motivated. They need to see that you recognize their value, and are willing to prove it through acknowledgment and compensation. That’s why bonuses and praise are the most effective strategies.


However, those are external rewards. Employees also need to have their internal, emotional needs met as well.


Improving upon their skills helps employees develop a genuine sense of self-worth. Mastery boosts confidence, which in turn boosts motivation. The most effective managers are often those who help their employees learn and grow.


You can do this by offering training sessions, providing career development opportunities, and most importantly, focusing on employee strengths. When you acknowledge their abilities, and put them in roles where they can build on those abilities, you set the employee, the organization, and yourself up for success.

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Mary Brunski
Mary Brunski
3 years ago

I once was tasked with hiring a marketing assistant. After we found the right candidate, I called her to offer her the job at a nice salary. She accepted. A few minutes later, my boss came running in and said, “Make the offer $3,000 less, then we can give her a raise if she lasts.” First, they weren’t known for giving raises anyway. I figured it was his way of trying to get her for less. I had to tell him that she had already accepted the salary. He asked what her incentive would be to do a good job… Read more »