by Matt Alderton | March 20, 2017
Businesses thrive because of their employees. But what about employees? What makes them thrive? The answer isn't just money. Just as often, it's recognition.

However, not all recognition is created equal, according to Let's Grow Leaders CEO Karin Hurt.

"Have you ever had a supervisor who congratulated you for doing something that you knew wasn't praiseworthy, or worse, something you knew actually made things worse in the long run? Or have you seen a peer recognized for their 'great work' only to find yourself secretly muttering, 'If they only knew'? I see this happen all the time," Hurt says. "Managers encourage the wrong behavior, for the wrong reasons."

The fix, according to Hurt, is giving feedback that's not only positive, but also specific.

"Be sure you're linking your recognition back to behaviors not just outcomes," Hurt continues. "Describe what actually happened and why it is important

In other words, don't say: "Great work." Instead, say: "I really appreciate the extra hours you put in on that project last week to take a deep dive into the customer's account and uncover the root cause of the issue. The customer was delighted and renewed with us for another three years."

"If you can't describe the actual behaviors, you're not ready to offer encouragement because you don't know what people did and they won't know how to do it again," Hurt concludes. "When you take the time to get specific, people know you understand their work, and you reinforce positive contributions."

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