Lada 🏡 Prkic

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To Be or Not to Be Praised for a Job Well Done

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A few years ago, while managing one construction project, I saved a considerable amount of money for my current employer. Except for the praise thrown in passing, “Good job!”, I wasn’t given more commendations for what I have successfully done.

Until last year, I didn’t get the chance to talk to my employer about this matter. Having a difficult conversation with my superior about another construction project, I mentioned the said savings. I told him that my efforts and results seemed to have gone unnoticed at that time. 

He answered, "This is what we expected of you. It’s your job."

His response really surprised me. It seemed that I was expecting a lot of praise for doing the job I was supposed to do. He showed a different approach to this subject from my previous employer who has often praised people. I felt a bit confused and didn’t want to discuss it further.

Then a moment of clarity happened! 

Even though I knew I did a good job, I wanted to be patted on the back by the upper management for my positive performance. 

I remembered a quote I read once. It says that the deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated. It’s so true! To be honest, we all need and want to be praised, accepted and appreciated. The praise makes us feel that our work is valued. 

But we cannot be praised constantly or always praise others.

That conversation opened my eyes. I’ve learned not to expect applause for everything I do. I've always tried to do my work the best I can and for its own sake. A job well done makes me feel so good on the inside because my efforts have yielded positive results. 

I lowered my expectations. The “good job” praise, if or when I get it is enough for me now.

But I still have a habit to praise and give positive feedback to the people I work with. We all need positive incentives to perform at our best, at least from time to time.

I am aware that both positive and negative feedback is important for continuous improvement. In work and life, there is a time and a place for both. It took me time to learn how to accept negative feedback and see value in it for me.

 

Despite the fact that I changed my expectations, I still think that people should be praised for a job well done. Or even for putting extra efforts into doing their tasks, no matter what the outcome. But not all the time! It devalues the praise and its purpose. 


 

 

 

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Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

2 years ago #36

#43
What a great story, Jerry. More than once, I experienced being overwhelmed by the extraordinary performance and joined the audience in giving a standing ovation to performers. But being patted on the back for doing a good job is more like tepid applause. :)

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

2 years ago #35

Lada, I always thought a standing ovation was the greatest praise for a performer. Then, the night Jim Croce died in an airplane accident I witnessed what true praise was. Steve Goodman agreed to perform and do both his set and Croce's. After two hours alone on the thrust stage all the strings on both his guitars were broken so he told us this last song would have to be done acapella. When he finished, the last note hung in the air. the audience seemed to have stopped breathing. The absolute silence stretched for at least half a minute and then a crescendo of applause swept the building. When an audience is so stunned by a performance they cannot respond is the greatest honor.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

2 years ago #34

Dear Ali, thank you for sharing this old one. I still think it's relevant. :) The problem with monetary rewarding is that I work in the public sector. If I worked in a private construction firm as I did before my current job at the university, I think the relationship with my employer would be largely different. I agree with you about trying to justify the employer behaviour. But for me, it's easier to feel that way than to think about what could have been if I was working in the private sector. Eight years ago, I chose to leave the private construction sector due to other reasons despite higher wage and never regretted.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Oh dear Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic- I am glad to read and share this buzz after quite sometime. I am lagging behind. You wrote "To be honest, we all need and want to be praised, accepted and appreciated". Deservedly, I praise you for writing this buzz and sharing your experience. I recall I found a lubricant that accelerated the girding of a mineral that saved considerable processing time and fuel. The prime cost was of processing the mineral was grinding and my efforts saved the owner of the industry to a level that he swept the market. My reward was thank you. I was consulting for him and since then I refused to deal with him. Some people are greedy and they expect the unexpected for free. No matter to what extent we try to justify it deep down we feel we were robbed. People who fail to appreciate good work are stealing our efforts and I don't like to be robbed..

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #32

#39
Thank you for commenting, my fellow countrywoman.:-) The constant and regular feedback is an important part of the construction management. "Praise for well done job can motivate and improve performance." This particularly applies to the construction industry where keeping projects on budget (and time) is essential.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #31

#29
Sorry for typos! :-)

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #30

#29
"For a skilled person his ability to actually realize his potential is probably worth more than any praise he receives." I agree with you, Vincent Andrew. Every project I've managed was a kind of "training ground" where I was able to express my full potential. Indeed, a well-done job when accomplish that way is a reward in itself. It makes me feel good and proud of myself, but it doesn't hurt if my superior shows appreciation for what I do, from time to time. What I need more than any 'praise' is a relevant feedback about my performance. I'm not the only one responsible for the success of the project. Every member of a team should be recognized and praised for their contribution and effort, but also to identify what can be done to improve our performance in future. Sorry for the late respones. :-)

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #29

#28
#31 Dear Fatima, thank you for joining the conversation. It's indeed a topic that causes heated discussions at every employer's cafeteria. Just this morning I had a conversation with my girlfriend about her superior and a lack of open communication, which affects the performance.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #28

#27
Ian, I like your definition of 'praise' - the expression of the acknowledgement of all 5 factors, from having a purpose and giving meaning to the goals, to the value of our contribution to self and to the environment. Thanks for pointed out the issue of sustained performance.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #27

#25
"Every employee needs regular feedback, whether positive or negative, and the obvious time is when work is being done (or not)." I couldn't agree more! As I said, I'm not addicted to praise but I need to know whether my work meets the expectations and set goals, or there is still room for improvement. Thank you for reading and commenting, Ken. I always enjoy interacting with you.😊 I like well done, not too well done. 😂

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #26

#25
"Every employee needs regular feedback, whether positive or negative, and the obvious time is when work is being done (or not)." I couldn't agree more! As I said, I'm not praise-addicted but I need to know whether my work meets the expectations and set goals, or there is still room for improvements. Obviously, a well-done job was not so well. :-)) Thanks for reading and commenting, Ken. I always enjoy in our interaction. 😊

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #25

#24
It sounds like a good practice, Franci, but it's not the case in my workplace. It shows the importance of open communication between employer and employees, as well as getting effective feedback on a regular basis. Thank you very much for reading and contributing to the discussion. Thanks for sharing. :-)

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

4 years ago #24

Monthly review's and appraisals are different when to come to appreciation. When I was a coach/trainer we would have daily, weekly and monthly meetings for just about 7 to 10 minutes at the start of the day to discuss what went well and what went wrong and how to fix it and it's during these times a manager/leader should remember the extra efforts that employees put into the work they do. It boils down to the kind of manager's we have. Great buzz Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

4 years ago #23

Monthly review's and appraisals are different when to come to appreciation. When I was a coach/trainer we would have daily, weekly and monthly meetings for just about 7 to 10 minutes at the start of the day to discuss what went well and what went wrong and how to fix it and it's during these times a manager/leader should remember the extra efforts that employees put into the work they do. It boils down to the kind of manager's we have. Great buzz Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

4 years ago #22

#27
These 5 elements are spot on and so is this buzz Lada. A discussion that takes place at every employer's cafeteria. Why can't managers go one step ahead to show their appreciation. #25 Ken I share your sentiments on the comments and honestly it ticks me off sometimes.

Ian Weinberg

Ian Weinberg

4 years ago #21

Thanks for raising and communicating a core issue Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic In our research and applications we've identified 5 elements which are fundamental to sustained performance - 1. Meaning and purpose; 2. Self-esteem/self-efficacy; 3. Task engagement gratification/task mastery engagement; 4. Anticipated achievement/achievement greater than that which was anticipated; 5. Value contribution - to self and to the environment. And indeed 'praise' is the expression of the acknowledgement of all these factors.

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #20

It seems to me, Lada, that your "what we expected of you" employer totally missed the point. There are many different ways to do "your job". Some achieve extraordinary results and efficiencies while others cruise through the day. Every employee needs regular feedback, whether positive or negative, and the obvious time is when work is being done (or not). The least effective time to give 'guidance' or praise is at an annual review. It's such a pity, Lada, that in our engineering profession, so many of us are totally technically focused and ignore the basics of man management. As for your observations on the "excessive praising" on SM, I am totally in agreement, and there are quite a few examples here on beBee of 'commenters' going over the top unnecessarily. And so, I enjoyed reading your post, Lada! Job well done ...... but not too well done? 🤣😂🤣

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

My last employer performed quarterly, semi-annual and annual reviews. There was a meeting between the employer and the employee, which was a discussion regarding the employee's performance. The employee's file was documented and the employee was given a written copy of the review. There were also team appreciation days with breakfast or lunch treats. If the employee's performance wasn't up to par, they offered suggestions on how to improve. I liked the way the company handled praising an employee or letting them know if they needed improvement. It was professional and respectful.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #18

#22
Michael, I couldn't agree more! You've described the exact difference between these sectors as I've experienced first-hand, particularly the lack of management-to-employees communication. The other problem in public sector, at least in Croatia, is the loss of motivation because there is no system of employee performance evaluations and contribution rewarding.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #17

#18
Tausif, thank you my friend for sharing your work experience. You mentioned one reason that some bosses use as an excuse not to praise their employees – that praising make us overconfident. For me, it's just a bad excuse that is given by people who don't know how to acknowledge good work and how to motivate employees.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #16

#12
Thanks dear Julio for the positive feedback. Much appreciated!

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #15

#9
Thanks Paul! I’m trying my best but sometimes it isn’t enough. This is the first time I write about specific work experience. I’ve tried to express my point of view on the topic I find very intriguing. I bet you are a great boss who rather rewards than criticizes. 😉

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #14

#7
I completely agree, Chris. A sincere non-monetary based praise is a powerful motivator. Thanks for commenting.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #13

#6
Thanks for such an eloquent comment, Praveen. Unfortunately, we live in outcome oriented society. The focus is mainly on the results. I would like that employers appreciate the extra efforts putting into doing the tasks. Sometimes the outcome doesn’t depend on an employee but on a higher power and various circumstances. I agree that how, whom and when to praise is an art itself. Those who have mastered that art are successful bosses who build up others.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #12

Darko Lugonja, hvala na podršci. :-)

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #11

#4
I forgot to thank you for sharing and for your continued support. 😊

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #10

#4
I know that, Milos, and I understand your point of view. Although I work at University my job is related to construction industry. I’m involved in the development and construction of the University Campus. I worked previously at a construction firm, so I have experienced the difference between public and private sector on this matter.

Julio Angel 🐝Lopez Lopez

I would be annoyed by an, big or small if the commentary they have not read it. I speak whit heart, which I think is a good measure. That is why I say, that your reflection is very good and I thank you for sharing it.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #8

#3
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Michael. It sounds like a cliché. But isn't. :-) Indeed, there is a big difference between the hollow praise in passing and an authentic appreciation communicated in a meaningful way. Ongoing communication between management and employees is essential. As an employee, I need to know whether my work meets the expectations and set goals. When giving a bonus or raising the wage is not an option, as at my current workplace, then the praise in a form of detailed and encouraging feedback is very important.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #7

#3
Thank you so much on your thoughtful comment, Michael. It sounds like a cliché. But isn't. :-) Indeed, there is a big difference between the hollow praise in passing and an authentic appreciation communicated in a meaningful way. Ongoing communication between management and employees is essential. As an employee, I need to know whether my work meets the expectations and set goals. When giving a bonus or raising the wage is not an option, as at my current workplace, then the praise in a form of detailed and encouraging feedback is very important.

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

4 years ago #6

Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic Interesting post. As a CEO of 60 odd staff I sometimes neglected to hand out 'praise' when it was due. When it was sought I would often say, " great, now what fabulous things will you achieve tomorrow" Regular reviews are the best way to reward or chide...I bet you do a great job every day!!

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #5

#2
As I mentioned ones, your comments are more than welcome, Phil. And it’s not excessive praising because they are meaningful, eloquent and on topic. You are a driving force behind many comments threads. This is a short explanation for my saying “Great comment!”. :-) Your comment on my post is just a kind of positive feedback I meant when I wrote the final thought. The post topic is something that many employees (if not all) talk about. My previous employer knew how to reward extra efforts that in turn led to positive outcomes. Besides pay raise, the employee of the month plaque sometimes was more than enough reward that showed his appreciation for employee’s hard work. I don’t expect to be constantly patted on the back, but occasionally received specific feedback is more than welcome. Thanks for the kind words. And thanks for sharing, too. Much appreciated!

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #4

#1
Jerry, you're right. The problem with expectations is they are mostly at odds with reality. But how and when to give praise is something that distinguishes good from bad bosses.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #3

In my job, I have never expected praise. It is not the practice in the University, and I agree with that.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #2

Lada, it's always seemed to me that over-frequent, shallow praise devalues praise, often until it is completely worthless. I also believe that is true both on social media and in the workplace. I have personally never expect praise for doing my job. Or perhaps more accurately, I don't value praise for doing my job unless such praise is accompanied by a pay raise or bonus. In the businesses I've owned and run, I never tried to substitute verbal praise for wages and bonuses. Not for the basic performance of one's job. I do, however, believe in meaningful praise when someone makes an extra effort and goes beyond what is normally expected. And in such cases, the praise should I think be detailed and explain the reasons giving it. Actually, come to think of it, it's the same for praise on social media. This, for example, is a thought-provoking piece and merits an explanation for my saying "Great post!". Cheers!

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #1

Lada, The trick is when to offer praise and when not to. And when you expect it logic goes out the window.

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