Are you giving enough praise?


Studies show morale and turnover improve when team members feel appreciated.

Studies show staff morale, devotion to better care, and turnover improve when team members feel they're recognized for their actions. Think you provide enough recognition and praise? Get a good impression of how appreciated staff members feel by asking them to answer yes and no-anonymously and in writing-to these commonly asked statements:

  • I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day here.
  • In the last seven days, I received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  • The veterinarians and management team care about me as a person.
  • I am encouraged to improve my development.
  • My opinion matters here.
  • My team members recognize my efforts at work.
  • In the last six months, someone here talked to me about my progress.
  • My needs are properly met.

Use your team members' answers to find out how much work you need to do to motivate your group and recognize their achievements.

Also ask yourself, "How often do I recognize my staff?" Write down the number of kudos you give out in a typical day. Do you think that's enough thanks? Would you be highly motivated if you received that much praise? The bottom line: You may want to reconsider how-and how often-you applaud your team members.

One idea that might work for you: Ask one or more team members to hand out recognition cards for jobs well done. When a hard-working team member accumulates four cards, give him or her a written thank-you note and a small reward, such as a half hour off work or movie tickets. And when a team member collects enough mementos recognizing his or her work, consider a more official reward such as a promotion, plaque, or raise.

Dr. Steve Kornfeld is the founder of Veterinary Coaching Enterprises and leads in-house seminars in motivation and leadership.

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