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There are 5 ways that you can praise employees: personal praise, written praise, electronic praise, public praise and indirect praise.

Personal praise- is considered the most important type of praise by employees. It consists of being verbally thanked one on one for doing good work and being specifically sought out for such praise by one’s manager. The best personal praise is timely, sincere, and specific.

Written praise- is considered to be the next most valued type of praise by employees and it, too, comes in several varieties: from a written note of thanks or a thank you card to a more formal letter of commendation being added to one’s personnel file.

Electronic praise- is similar to written praise, but enables you to leverage positive communication as it occurs in your daily work. In my research, 28% of employees report it is “extremely important” to them to have positive e-messages forwarded to them and 65% say it’s “extremely or very important” to be copied on positive e-mail message. And don’t forget the use of voicemail as well to leave a positive work of thanks.

Public praise- in front of management and peers is valued by most employees and there is almost an endless variety of ways to acknowledge employees publicly. Overall share stories about people’s successes and thank your staff for their dedication and hard work.

Indirect praise- is using any of the above techniques to praise someone and his or her performance to others even if they are not present, knowing that word will get back to the person who you singled out in a positive way.

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