Attaboy Attagirl: The Do’s and Don’ts of Praising Employees


Undoubtedly, most of the people reading this in some sort of managerial position (be it sitting or standing) have had a boss that didn’t do the bossiest job. They may not have been a Bill Lumberg or Ebeneezer Scrooge, but a boss doesn’t need to be a caricature in order to make their employees feel unappreciated.

Well, as you probably experienced, some people just aren’t people people. It could be things like not holding the elevator or forgetting a birthday, but a lack of concern for employees is always most visible in a one-on-one talk. False or insincere congratulations pretty much take the cake in terms of see-through poor managerial decorum and are apparent to both recipient and giver of such meaningless praise.

When congratulating or acknowledging an employee for their good work, the most important thing is to keep in mind is engagement and specific praise so that your employee can fully appreciate your appreciation of their work. Today’s article goes into some greater detail about the do’s and don’ts of employee praise and constructive criticism. If you want to skip it, the take-away message is to keep in mind the type of person you’re trying to reward for their good work. Don’t praise people in public who’d rather you didn’t, and don’t keep it secret when they’d want the whole room to hear it.

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