Praise in the Workplace – How Much do YOU need?

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Praise-Blog-ImageAre you feeling valued at work? Are you getting the recognition you need? Think about the level of praise you require to function day in and day out at work. We can all appreciate praise and a compliment when a job is well done, but different generations are proving to have different expectations.

As Dr. Bob Nelson (best selling author and motivational speaker) has come to learn, employees over sixty enjoy formal awards that are publicly presented. They tend to be more laid back about needing praise per say, and quicker to recognize their weekly paycheck as enough recognition. Baby boomers however, often tend to like being praised with more self-indulging rewards such as spa packages for women and the latest gadgets for men. Workers under forty enjoy receiving name-brand merchandise for recognition. As for those in Generation X and Y, they too enjoy name-brand goodies, but also need near constant praise.

As younger generations grow up, a culture of praise has penetrated into the working world. This praise fixation has social, economic, and labor ramifications. Fortunately, employers are finding ways to adjust. Sure, there will always be plenty of managers who provide little to no praise, but many corporations are hiring consultants and have implemented praise programs into their daily routines in order to retain young workers. The truth for many young professionals is that often they feel nervous and insecure about their work.

To all the upcoming college graduates who may be reading this right now, take these words as a chance to get to know yourself better. If any of this rings true in your own life, be enlightened and better prepare yourself for what’s to come. It’s comforting to know that many companies have already caught on to the new norms and are putting in more effort to acknowledge their employees. However, don’t get yourself worked up if you’re not given a pat on the back as often as you’d like. As frustrating as lack of input from superiors can be, don’t take it as a symbol that your job is on the line. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback when you need it. Certainly don’t go fishing for compliments, but ask for clear honest assessments regarding your performance.

To the hiring managers and employers out there, remember to praise your employees and to recognize a job well done. When negative feedback may be required to better your workers, be sure to use constructive forms of criticism. After all, how do young workers let their superiors know when they’re not getting enough praise? They leave.