Giving praise that really hits home and is appreciated by employees and volunteers is something of an art.
Here are four steps to giving sincere praise:
1. Be specific. Tell them exactly what they did that you value and how it helps the organization.
2. Be timely. Don’t wait until you are scheduled to meet with the person. Give praise during or right after the performance.
3. Give praise privately first. Then look for an opportunity to reinforce the message in front of others. This has the added benefit of showing others what kind of behavior is valued by the organization.
4. Don’t make praise “back-handed.” Don’t add a qualifier, such as “You could have done a little more of this” or “I wish you would do that more often.”