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Employee Engagement Tip # 2 – In Praise of Right Ups

 When is the last time you gave somebody a right up? Not a write up, a right up. The kind that says, “Your performance is right up there with my expectations and actually above it.” Gallup’s question number four states, “In the last seven days I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.”

While working with a client on raising employee engagement recently, I encountered the following trend:

Out of 250 days of work, employees always mentioned their problem shifts that resulted in write ups and rarely mentioned all the shifts where they either did their job or did their job well. We all respond this way and the impact explains why engagement consulting is still needed.

Negative feedback always leaves a more lasting memory. Yet, it represents such a small portion of our time. What we all need is more recognition of the value we add day in and day out. Leaders who regularly practice catching their team “doing something right” enjoy higher morale, productivity, and loyalty. They also develop teams that out produce the strong disciplinarian alternative.

When you give your employees a right up you:

R   Recognize and reinforce their contributions to the team.

I    Inspire them to push more.

G   Grow their commitment – without your team could you do it all yourself?

H  Heal the scars of too many write ups and negative experiences.

T   Tell them you notice and appreciate their contributions.

U   Uplift their spirits.

P   Promote their continuous efforts to improve.

Right ups should be the norm and not the exception. Most of us agree in concept but find it hard to put into practice. If that’s your situation, set a small goal. Pick one employee and intentionally look for ways he enhances the mission. Write it down and wait a few days. Then summon him into your work space and give him a right up. Put a copy in his file. Repeat until every team member has at least one right up in his/her file. Then repeat again and again.

And here’s the kicker. When you give honest, sincere appreciation for someone’s efforts, he will definitely listen and respond when you catch him doing something wrong.

Right On!

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