The wisest leaders use praise to encourage employees.
I once worked in a company where you could receive recognition for doing your job from your coworkers. That was a nice gesture when people appreciated the extra things I would do to make their experience easier at work.
The flip side to this is that I once worked on a long term complicated project and some one else got recognition for the work I did. When I asked my boss about it he recognized a mistake had been made but didn’t fix it. That was frustrating. It would be better to not recognize someone than to recognize the wrong person.
In most companies I haven’t been recognized when I have exceeded expectations. Thats fine I don’t need to be. However each time I have been told I have done a good job, I have worked harder in that job because I felt appreciated.
Leaders forget that people don’t just work for money but they also work for internal rewards such as a feeling of pride or accomplishment in ones work. It seems so strange to me. It takes so little to recognize your employee and it means so much to them. Why not do it?
I have a friend who works for a company and the boss sent her a personal email thanking her for her dedication and telling her that she was part of their family. I admit that I was jealous when she shared that with me. I have never had any company tell me that. As an IT person you are often perceived as an expense and if they have to cut jobs they tend to start with the IT department. I would have been thrilled to receive even the briefest of emails saying that I was important to the companies success.
If you are a leader, please take a minute each day to thank someone for going beyond their job requirements in their job. It may not mean much to you, but it means the world to them.