Thursday, September 07, 2006

Extol--Praise sandwiches

"They have cheered me greatly and have been a wonderful encouragement to me, as I am sure they were to you, too. I hope you properly appreciate the work of such men as these." I Corinthians 16:18 (TLB)

When we have positive input, we have positive output, and when we have negative input, we have negative output. ~ Zig Ziglar

While collecting a paycheck is a reward, nothing is more satisfying than to know you are appreciated. In business, this needs to work both ways. Employers should fuel the fires of enthusiasm in their employees by giving them positive feedback about their work performance. Employees that want a great work environment should not only encourage each other but look for words to encourage and show appreciation to their employers.

Of course that would all work easily in a perfect world where everyone was doing exactly what was needed when it was needed. There are times when lack of performance needs to be addressed. The best approach is the praise sandwich.

The praise sandwich is a way to point out deficient areas of performance while still looking for strengths in another. Here's an example:

I appreciate the effort you make to get here on time. Your time card shows you always checked in at 8. That would work really well if you could find some way to get started on your work for the day a little sooner--maybe get your coffee before you punch in. Once you get going, you are very efficient in handling the phone calls and taking orders.

The meat of the message is that the worker needs to stop stalling in the morning after he's punched the clock. But by putting it between the "bread" of praise, it encourages rather than berates.

©2006 Karen Robbins

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