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5 Effective ways to give credit where credit is due

11/06/2020

5 Effective ways to give credit where credit is due

We love the Traction® Tools team. Having so many brilliant minds bringing their innovative ideas to the table keeps things fresh and helps us succeed. When working with a high-performing team, excellent work can seem like the norm. While that may be true, that hard work still deserves recognition. 

It’s important to us to stay on top of the best ways to give credit to our team members and employees, so we want to share our top five tips for giving credit with you, too!

1. Make it sincere

Some people think the more you compliment employees, the better. We suggest finding that sweet spot between too little praise and excessive acknowledgement, because too much of a good thing can sometimes seem insincere. It may seem counterintuitive, but if you give credit to every single person for all the things, it takes away the value acknowledgment has in the first place. Chocolate cake isn’t as exciting when you have it at every meal (or so we’re told). 

Make sure you give feedback to your employees in a genuine way. You can show your sincerity by being specific with the credit you give.

Example:

“You contributed to our presentation in a huge way when you helped us collect all that data the night before our big presentation.” 

Notice there is a direct cause and effect. “You did ABC, which was great because XYZ.” Being specific is key in showing you sincerely appreciate their work. 

2. It doesn’t need to be public

We love shoutouts! They’re great for building a community and more easily communicating what type of work is appreciated on a larger scale. That being said, public praise isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. For a lot of people, getting credit for a job well done is sometimes more special when it’s done behind the scenes. The more personal you make it, the more easily your employee will see how they contributed. 

Examples

  • Send them a detailed email 
  • Talk about it over lunch 
  • Give them a call 

The more directly you communicate with the person you want to give credit to, the better. An added bonus is opening those lines of communication can help them feel comfortable reaching out to you in the future. Getting a direct email from your boss can be scary in a lot of companies that don’t have open communication. Combat this by reaching out directly to let them know you appreciate them, and not just when you need something from them. 

3. Don’t limit praise to just profit goals

There are a ton of different ways to help your employees know how they contribute to company goals, and giving credit for their contributions is an important one. We’re not just talking about how employees contribute to your financial success; it’s important to acknowledge employees for operational success, efficiency and personal goals too. Let employees know you see them even when they’re not directly contributing to the bottom line.

Example:

“I know you’ve been working on improving your client communication. I noticed major improvement in that meeting we just had, and I can tell you’ve been putting in the work.” 

Opening your praise to more than just situations that affect the company builds trust with your employees, and can encourage them to continue progressing. 

4. Say “Please” and “Thank you” 

If you recognize that perhaps you could put in a little more effort to mind your Ps and Qs, don’t worry: a lot of us could work on this too! When you get into a rhythm at work, and people fall into their roles, manners are sometimes lost in the shuffle. Sometimes simply thanking someone for doing something that made your job a little easier is often enough to communicate a job well done. 

Example:

“Thank you for helping me put together that presentation. If you’re available, will you please meet with me later so we can go over the details before the meeting?” 

This goes beyond just giving credit. It’s really a great way to build relationships with employees (and people in general) by showing them you care about how you communicate with them. 

5. Share the credit 

We probably don’t need to tell you that it feels great to get credit for your work. When you get credit for something, ask yourself: Was there anyone who contributed to my ability to succeed here? Chances are the answer is yes. 

When you work on a team, we’re willing to bet that at some point you were given the tools to accomplish what you did because someone was there to teach you. You can acknowledge the person who helped you while also accepting the praise you’ve been given. 

Example:

“Thank you for recognizing the hard work I put toward that report. My manager did a great job teaching me how to put data together in a way that makes sense.” 

This doesn’t detract from your own success. It just helps to broaden the communication lines so people know that when you work together, great things really do happen.