Understanding The Difference Between Compliments and Praise

How do you energize your employees and give them the determination to continue producing excellent work? Through the power of praise. As the manager, praise can be used as your expression of approval. This recognition can tell your employees exactly what they are doing well and what they should continue to do.

When giving praise however, you must ensure that it is both genuine and meaningful. Your employees will be able to tell if you are forcefully trying to praise them and that may be detrimental to your image. In order for praise to be effective, you want to find a task that you think that have exceptionally done well and acknowledge that.

The other big tip to remember is that a compliment is not the same as praise.

When you give your employees praise, it should be about more than a comment on the individual’s appearance or outfit. Praise is about actions and behaviors.

Here is an example:

You are working with an employee you is impeccably dressed and on the last project, his presentation was very well thorough out and showed how much time he put in to the research.

A compliment is if you told him that you thought his suit was very nice.

Praise would be if you told him that you appreciated his dedication to the project and that it was very well done.

The difference is clear to see. The compliment makes no reference to the job or the employee’s work. The praise on the other hand, can reassure them that the work they are doing is worth it. While it is not bad to give out compliments, it is important to understand that compliments do not replace praise. If you do not recognize your employees, they will have no motivation to perform more than mediocre work.

Other examples of good situations to praise your employees include when:

They have taken a new initiative
Provided great customer service
Consistently produced great work on projects
Another point to remember is that praise and constructive feedback should sometimes be separated. If you always follow a “Great job… ” with a “… but next time remember to… “, it can be discouraging. Yes, it is important to tell your employees how they can improve, but every once in a while, a stand along praise will show that you truly recognize the hard work that they have done.
Take the time to praise your employees and see how it impacts your company. Everyone should be praised once in a while and it may just be the motivation that your employees need!

For more information on teams and productivity, visit our blog and the blog post, “The Magical Effect of Praise”.

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