Monday, September 15, 2014

I WON'T NAME ANY NAMES



Something good has happened. The cheery staff has gathered in the conference room and the manager is about to offer some well deserved, public praise. And her first sentence is that demoralizing empty sentence we’ve all heard (or said??) too often: “You all did a great job, but I won’t name any names because I might leave someone out”…so I’ll just thank the entire group because you know who you are”. Ugh.


OF COURSE I KNOW WHO I AM. What I don’t know is whether YOU, my boss, think I did a good job. And now, nobody else will know, either.

This is backwards because the idea is to praise the people, not the deed. Now, as ms. manager gets all misty about the huge sale or the new product most people are only half listening. Because that isn’t praise.


This is praise: naming names, lauding specific accomplishments, making it public, making it timely and when appropriate, adding a reward. Four rules for killer praise:

1. NAME NAMES

You are praising the people, not the outcome. Do your homework. Get ALL the names and pronounce them perfectly one by one. If you mistakenly omit someone, then offer some after-the-fact public praise to make it right.

2. GET THE FACTS.

Find out exactly what is praise-worthy and talk about that. Here’s a tip: pretend you are praising the greatest piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever eaten….and praise the person even more enthusiastically than you would praise the cake.

3. ANNOUNCE IT.

The possibilities are endless. How about a group email, a company-wide email, a mock ad in the company newsletter, a real ad in their hometown paper, a monthly ad in a trade publication, a banner ad on your own website, a special parking place, a day off with an email that says, "David is off today because he did the following great thing, a place on your website devoted to employee recognition, an email to the company owner or CEO, a special poster hung in the lunchroom, a cash reward, any kind of reward, a letter written to their spouse, mother, children or friends. Something. Anything.

4. RECOGNITION IS CONTINUOUS.

In addition to the monthly birthday party, hold a monthly recognition party where the only things that get talked about are jobs well done.

Try this: create the position of Company CPA – the Chief Praise Auditor. Their job is to gather the info every month and ensure that YOU publicly praise the right people.

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