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May 12, 2020

Recognize and Motivate Your Employees for Doing Their Job


It’s a question I often get from leaders: “Do I need to praise someone on my team for ‘just doing his or her job?’” My answer is always yes.

Failing to recognize employees for a job well done is a classic leader mistake that leads to disengagement.

Jobs don’t inspire and motivate people; leaders do. And leaders can easily fall into a trap where they question the logic of praising someone for doing what’s expected of them. But recognition for a job well done is a top motivator for employees.

People Move the Business Forward

The best leaders know that the only way to get things done and move a business forward is through people. That means leaders need to go beyond lifting up employees who need extra motivation and recognize those who exhibit the behaviors you want to continue to see. Saying thank you for a job well done and rewarding employees who exhibit your desired behaviors seems simple, but it’s often overlooked.

Here are a few simple yet powerful ways to share recognition with your team:

  • Match the reward to the person: Start with individual preferences. Reward employees in ways they truly find rewarding.
  • Match the reward to the achievement: Effective reinforcement should be customized to take into account the significance of the achievement.
  • Be timely and specific: To be effective, rewards need to be given as soon as possible after the desired behavior or achievement. Being specific about what you appreciated will help create a culture of appreciation and encourage others to adopt similar behaviors.

What are some ways you motivate and recognize your employees?

David Grossman

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