We all know that being recognized or praised by our managers and peers will help motivate people. Research will show that employees fed a steady dose of praise and recognition focus better on business goals. This same employees will spot new opportunities faster, be more engaged in the success of a business, stay longer and enjoy their work.

Yet for something that seams so straightforward, it’s amazing how many managers don’t bother and get it wrong. I could fill an entire journal with comments from employees I have come in contact with during my speaking and training events who don’t receive much praise or recognition from their managers or bosses.

In fact, many managers during my programs have shared with me that they honestly believe they don’t need to offer any praise or rewards or that they do it often enough. However, that is not what their staff tells me. I have met managers whose intentions are good but they seem to get it wrong. These managers offer tangible rewards such as free pizza on Fridays, donuts on Mondays, dress down days and an occasional gift card or cash. These are all well-meaning but misguided leaders offer these rewards for a return effort only. I have even met managers who after their employees do exceptional things, offer only a token verbal praise for those real results and somehow think that is enough to keep their employees satisfied.

If we believe the old wise tale that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then perhaps we should apply the same principal with our employees and teammates to keep people more focused, committed and more engaged in your business and customers.

Here is a simple model that I use and share with managers during my “Making

Leadership Magical” training programs. 

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Specific – Tell and employee or team mate specifically what you appreciate. Don’t just generalize.

Sincere– Be sincere when praising or recognizing others. People know when you are phony.

Immediate- Don’t put it off. Do it when you see it!

Personalize– Make it personal to each person. Everyone is unique.

Share–  Share the recognition with the entire team or business. It makes people feel important.


Managers who praise and recognize their people on a daily basic and able to tap the power of recognition to build a stronger engaged workforce will have their people more committed to towards the goals of your business. The results will be a better work environment, less turnover, engaged and happy employees, a better customer experience and a more successful business or organization. Now that is Magical!