Consistent Praise Increases Employee Retention


Are you trying to figure out how to keep your employees engaged? That goal might be much harder to achieve in light of the recently popular TikTok video that encourages viewers to embrace the practice of quiet quitting. Instead of giving work and career extra emphasis, younger workers are joining the call to live a balanced life. They're reducing their work focus and playing more. As managers, we want balance for our employees, but we also need ways to increase engagement and employee retention. A praise system is one way to accomplish those goals.

How Praise Increases Employee Retention

It’s a no-​brainer that praising people and their work will make them feel like someone cares. Sales professionals, like other employees, want to know that their supervisors and company leaders are noticing their work. Our research shows that 27% of sales professionals have left a company because they believed nobody cared about them.

Researchers at Achievers​.com reveal what managers and company leaders often get wrong when it comes to retention efforts. Offering flexible benefits and career opportunities is not enough. And they don't increase employee engagement. But when employees are “recognized for a specific action,” over 90% are “more likely to take that action in the future.”

Managers and Good Intentions

Of course, you appreciate it when your team members do a great job. When they complete a project on time, you probably thank them. And handing out a gift card or a few hours of PTO after an employee smoothly handles an irate customer always serves as a message that you are paying attention to how they’re performing.

The problem is managers become easily overwhelmed. If you’re prone to spending your time putting out fires, you may not be setting aside time to think about how you can help your employees feel better about what they do on a daily basis. Weeks may go by before you remember to show your gratitude. If this sounds like you, consider blocking an hour on your calendar every week to notice what each person on your team has done and find a way to recognize them for it.

As Stephen Schramm discusses in his article for Duke Today, team members thrive on positivity. They know when they’ve made a mistake. They may be harder on themselves than you would be once the mistake becomes obvious. Schramm highlights research by Dr. Laura Weisberg, Duke Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. All too often, humans “dwell on negative criticisms, internalizing them and potentially developing a habit of harsh self-criticism.”

With so much potential negative energy in the air, managers can change course by regularly recognizing the small and large efforts and successes of their employees.

All Praise Matters

Corporations don’t set culture, employees do,” observes SalesFuel CEO C. Lee Smith. While that is certainly true, managers can do their part to shape organizational culture, especially when it comes to praise. Some companies, including Google and Zappos, fund rewards programs. Through these programs, team members can recognize each other by granting them a “peer-​to-​peer” bonus for a job well done.

In organizations where finances may be tight, weekly team meetings serve as a great venue for co-​workers to recognize each other for a job well done. In some organizations, employees may appreciate recognition coming from team members even more than when it comes from a supervisor. “…Finding opportunities to praise colleagues for work they’ve done, or help they’ve given, is a proven way to build a positive mindset, strengthen connections with collaborators, and create a supportive workplace culture.” And it also improves employee retention.

Photo by Athena on Pexels.

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Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.