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Give us five! Tomorrow is National High Five Day. Usually relegated to arenas, stadiums, sports bars and the like, National High Five Day gives you the license to take those high fives EVERYWHERE. It is a day meant to spread high fives and good vibes around the world! It is also a national holiday with a purpose: raising funds for CoachArt, a nonprofit organization that provides free sports and arts lessons to kids impacted by chronic illness. Want to help Highfive raise up to $10,000 for the kids? Simply follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter, look for their special “Virtual High Five” post and share/retweet the post. $5 will be donated to CoachArt for every share or retweet or the posts. For more information, visit the National High Five Day website.

While we are catching all the feels high fiving and spreading the love, wouldn’t it be a great time to extend that love to some invaluable people in our offices – our employees? By its’ definition a high five is a gesture of celebration or greeting. For their hard work, dedication, and commitment to ensuring we not only meet but exceed our company’s goals, who else but our employees would deserve an “atta boy”, “atta girl” or a high five…? Praising our employees is sometimes easier said than done but it is not impossible. Well-timed praise can help boost morale, improve communications and strengthen relationships. Here are some suggestions for giving out effective praise to employees:

  • Be genuine and specific: Never praise for the sake of praising. It’s obvious to everyone, and you lessen the impact when you really do mean what you say. Be specific when giving praise; when you tell an employee good job, provide the details on what he/she did to that was good. Explain how their work ties to the bigger picture of your company’s goals/metrics.
  • Write a sincere note: While emails get the messages out faster, a personal, handwritten note will show that you thought about the recipient and took the time to pen a note. It is more impactful because it will take longer to craft it.
  • Remember their anniversary date: Recognizing work anniversaries is a good way to keep employees engaged and feeling appreciated. Keep track of your employees’ work anniversaries and commemorate the date with a friendly card or other memento. Work anniversary greeting cards, such as the ones available at Greeting Card Universe or years of service pins similar to these at Positive Promotions provide a memorable gift, especially for milestone anniversaries.
  • Spread the wealth: It is easy to always find a reason to praise those that we consider our best and most productive employees. While the praise is certainly warranted, what about our not so awesome employees? Finding reasons, even small ones, to also praise your less than stellar employees can be the encouragement they need to improve their performance and productivity. It can also reduce the chances of jealousy and resentment against the employees who are most often praised.
  • Create a recognition culture: Yes, we have Employee Appreciation Day (March), Customer Service Week (October) and other days recognizing specific industries, but we should strive to praise our teams more often. Making recognition something that you can constantly measure will give your team a target to strive for. The bonus of this is peer pressure from coworkers and natural competition will spur your team to work to meet the targets. This will give you something to praise them for while also raising the quality of work from your team.

 

Everyone wants a high five or a pat on the back. Recognizing employees for their efforts boosts their confidence and self-esteem, reinforces positive behaviors, rewards their effort and accomplishment and builds their motivation and enthusiasm. This in turn can strengthen your employee’s loyalty to your company and reduce instances of absenteeism and the likelihood that they will seek employment elsewhere. So tomorrow and every day, give a high five, or two, or three.