Praise Someone the Way They Want to Be Praised

Adapted from the HBR Guide to Performance Management

Recognition is one of the most powerful tools a manager has, but not everyone wants their good work to be called out in the same way. Acknowledging someone’s work is meant to make them feel special — and it’s hard to feel special if a corporate procedure treats everyone the same way. One person might appreciate public praise in front of their colleagues, whereas another might prize a professional or technical award. A person who prioritizes customer feedback might treasure a letter from a customer — or a photo of the employee and customer together, framed for their office wall. Tailor your approach to each employee’s preferences. And if you aren’t sure what those are, ask.


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