I have read the book "First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently" and following the suggestions,
I sent the 6 most important survey questions to my directs.

Overall, I got quite a high score for all the questions (thanks to manager tools.... :lol: ) , except this -
[b][i]In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?[/i][/b]

First of all, don't you think 7 days are too short? Why not a month?

Anyway, I found that I am really lacking on this. There are several reasons that I think why:

1. I usually give feedback or praises during my O3 but I have O3 with all the team leaders every week and the rest, I have with them only once a month. This is because I have almost 17 directs and I am caught up with other responsibilities.

(I wonder also if I can ask my team leaders to have O3 with the rest of the ppl weekly or bi-weekly)

2. What determine whether a recognition or praise should be given to my directs? Let's say they have completed their works on time, but the quality is not really that fantastic . Sometimes, the quality is good, but there has been a lot of delay. Do these call for a recognition or praise?

How do I give recognition and praise in this situation even though I think they still need to improve a lot?
I do think they want to hear something nice from me, even though the output is jsut mediocre but they have put a lot of efforts on it.

3. Sometimes when the work is done, I do not really have time to review the quality of the works. So, in this case, I cannot really give the praise or recognition that soon.

4. I really haven't get familiar with giving praises and recognitions openly. Sometimes, I also scared of praising another directs in front of others and make the others feel like "wow, what about me? I have done the same amount of job. Why i do not get the same recognition?"

Well well well, let's just conclude I suck at giving praise and recognition.

Hope to hear recommendation and examples from you guys. Thanks!

Really hope there is a podcast on this...** wink wink **


quenfis's picture

Well Susan, you are not alone. I can tell you that much. I have not read the book you mentioned. I would love to see these "six" survey questions. If you have time, please PM them to me. I'd like to take a look.

I think I am more confused on what are we looking for in praise and recognition? Is it a simple, "hey, thanks for getting that to me on time." Or is it more of a larger praise, like a grand parade setting. I'm not sure if I can do back flips every week for the associates. But, I can say thank you, and that I appreciate their efforts on a weekly basis.

I have Skips who tend to be the ones that are seeking praise and recognition from my level. That is really tough. Considering that I do not work with them day in and day out. We've done some lunch's for the people, gift certificates for high achievers, etc. I know most people want that face to face time to hear that they are doing well. And guess what, some are not doing well. In fact some are doing terrible and need a lot of work. That's usually where adjusting feedback comes into play, but in a nice way. :) Most of the time, I'm just looking for someone to show up to work. That's an easy one for me to give praise on.

So, I would consider thinking about what weekly praise and recognition really means. Is it high energy, enthusiastic praise/recognition? Or is is just a simple thank you and appreciation for having the job done (or even attempted I suppose)?

susan.lim's picture

Hi quenfis,

Here are the 6 questions:

Rating: 1 : Strongly disagree, 5- Strongly agree.

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday?

4 In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?

5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

Below are the link to the excerpt of the book ( this is mentioned in the first chapter) .



susan.lim's picture

I like the mountain climbing concept as described in the book. It makes it so simple . Yes! We should focus to improving ourselves on the base camp and Camp 1 first. Do not talk about the mission, understanding company objectivies, those high level things if the base is not strong.


quenfis's picture

I just read the chapter online. Very good stuff. I especially liked the part about Lankford-Sysco. Since I am in the same field as them, it helped to put some perspective on the description. I am going to purchase this book. It seems very informative. I just finished The Effective Executive. This seems like a good book to move on to.

Back to your initial question. It seems that this book endorses celebrating your employees performance/productivity. So I suppose that would be the first place to start. Again, I am still not sure if you can celebrate them in small gestures versus grand gestures.

juliahhavener's picture
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Praising your folks for an aspect of a job well done is still praise. If you go back and listen to the feedback podcast(s), the biggest thing is that [i]giving feedback should be like breathing[/i]. That means it should be easy, almost effortless, and [b]constant[/b].

I occassionally go through and ask my folks if they know when they're doing a good job. If they hem and haw a bit, I know I'm not breathing feedback enough. I stop by their desks if I hear them say something I particularly like. I drop an email if I see something specific I want to point out is good. I don't think I tell all 15 of them every day that they've done something right/well. I do think they almost all hear it one to three times a week (there is one or two people that I have a hard time doing this with/for -- I'm working on it still).

quenfis's picture

Julia, not to put you on the spot, the couple people you have trouble with, what is it specifically that is prohibiting you from giving them the feedback that you can easily give to the others? I ask because, I have the same issues here.

I agree that Feedback should be like breathing. I do my best to let my people know when they are doing a good job. I let them know that I appreciate their efforts, even when they fall a bit short (I'm sure you remember my problem with written communication from one of my DR). Yet, there are those times, or those people that you just can't get those words out to...good or bad.

juliahhavener's picture
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Mark's picture
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Yes, I think 7 days is quite enough. A month is a joke. The vast majority of what your team does is good, or you probably ought to be getting a different team.

If someone does something poorly and on time, why not give both postive and negative feedback? Completely normal. The more feedback you give, the more of both types will happen easily.

I think we may have different definitions in our head. Recognition is usually unique, and praise is just non-specific positive feedback. Feedback is the one that most likely affects future behavior.


Greenest's picture

Once again - good answer Mr Horstman!

A week should be enough. My thought about the person who did work that was lacking in quality but on time....praise or being on time and then probe on the quality, why? Sometimes the timescale will determine the quality of the result - we could all do perfect work if we had infinite time to do the work, but we have to cut corners to achieve the deadline very now and again. By careful probing we should get to the cause of the quality - was the deadline unrealistic, did the direct have the correct resourcing, or did they lack support, or were they working on the wrong task?

I thank my team even when i have not supported them and they failed to achieve!! My thoght being that the lack of support was my fault and that they did the best they could - I do qualify the praise though if I feel it needs it, "Thanks for what you did on Project X, I know I didn't give all the support you needed for it. It's a shame that phase 3 didn't go as planned and I put my hand up in part for that - for your info, should that happen again you could always call ..... for advise." Then I might add "I have been working on Project Y, what are your thoughts on ....?"

thaGUma's picture

A week is a good period. If you are in regular contact with your team, there is an opportunity for feedback. They are always looking for feedback (hopefully). You will always give they will always have something positive to take home for the weekend.