The boss is walking past the workspace of a member of their team. They stop for a moment, then say: ‘I wanted to say good job with that contract’. Well, everyone loves praise, but the individual might have completed four contracts in the last three days. So which one? And were the others disappointing? 

Confused? People can be. In circumstances such as this, offering praise could actually be a demotivator, when entirely the opposite was the leader’s intention. To praise effectively, here are simple guidelines to follow:

1. Specific piece of performance

If the boss, or team leader, is able to describe exactly what the good performance looks like, then the recipient knows they are being paid proper attention. Unlike the quote at the start of this blog, how about: ‘I wanted to say congratulations for closing that contract for 4,000 units with Smith & Company’.

2. Add valid reasons for the praise

The salesperson now knows what you are talking about. Of course they will know that they performed well, but now you can let them appreciate that you do too, by adding a positive commentary on the achievement: ‘I know that they are difficult to tie down and like to take their time when deciding, especially when the directors are in different locations’. 

3. Be quick to deliver praise

The team member receiving the praise will soon be moving on to other challenges, seeking other orders. If the boss only congratulates them a week after a specific deal is concluded, such praise has lost its potency. It actually suggests a fairly casual approach to assessing their work or performance. For maximum relevance, praise should be delivered as close to the performance as possible. 

4. Praising when not present

The giver and the recipient of the praise might not be based in the same location. In this case, the same process can be completed remotely, either by telephone, email or text. The last two could also be used as a follow-up to face-to-face praise. This allows individuals to share the good news with colleagues, family and friends – adding to its motivational value.

Using our sales compensation and comission tracking software keeps the leader fully informed of individual performance; offering opportunities to deliver specific praise whenever it’s due. Contact us now to discuss how valuable it could prove to be for your small or medium sized business.