The Importance Of Words Of Encouragement In The Workplace}

Submitted by: Jake D. Darren

When words of encouragement are used frequently in the workplace, employee morale and motivation can be boosted. Recognition is one of the biggest human needs. Recognition tells people that other people are paying attention to them. Recognition can make or break a person’s day. Supervisors and managers play the most important roles in creating staff morale and motivation.

As a supervisor, manager or leader, the impact you have on the motivation of your employees is immeasurable. Your body language, your words and the expression on your face, transmit your opinion of their worth and value. However, it is just as important NOT to praise ordinary performance. Doing this repeatedly will minimize the impact of genuine praise.

If you praise ordinary performance often and someone produces excellence, your praise is not going to mean much. Plus, praising a worker for ordinary work does not necessarily motivate them to perform better. Showing appreciation should not be confused with praise. Appreciation is shown by saying ‘thank you’ sincerely.


Spewing out fluffy cliches will only devalue genuine praise. Make specific statements like, “I am so impressed with the excellent work you did on the launch campaign” or “You handled Mrs Smith’s delivery complaint superbly – and I know just how difficult she can be.” These are examples of being specific which lets the employee know exactly what you thought to be outstanding performance and, more importantly, why.

Praise can also be used to improve poor performance. Every employee has weak and strong skills. If a worker is performing weakly in one area and well in another, you can use praise to help strengthen the weak area. This can be done by talking casually to the employee. During the conversation, praise him or her for what he or she is doing well, and why. Suggest that the same diligence and dedication be applied in the weak area. Over the following few days, find a reason to praise and tell the person you have noticed efforts to improve.

Praise can also be put in writing. While verbal praise is heartening, it can often be forgotten quickly when another problem arises. Genuine praise can occasionally be given in the form of a memo, email or letter. Written praise serves as a permanent reminder of your acknowledgement of good work. Later on, when job-related stresses arise, it can be re-read for renewed encouragement. In addition, send a copy of the email or memo to the employee’s immediate supervisor. This will mean a lot to the worker being praised.

Never assume that praise is all that’s required. Over time, excellent work deserves more than words of appreciation and praise. If praise doesn’t come with other needs, eventually it will ring hollow. Good work should also be rewarded by occasional raises in pay, unexpected bonuses, and giving employees assignments they want.

Another way to reward outstanding performance is to take the employee/s out to dinner or lunch on the company. Be liberal with words of encouragement. When this powerful tool is used correctly, it’s an effective way to foster mutual respect and develop motivation.

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