“Praise in public, punish in private” I grew up professionally hearing this phrase. I like the first part, but I would modify it to read “Praise in public and in private” because it is appropriate and should be done in both settings. We learn, grow, and thrive best when we are supported by others, especially our leaders.

Case Study:

While implementing our Five Star Sales programs with a South Florida client we set up a system to manually track daily sales. In addition to being the easiest process for tracking admission, it was a wonderful way to laud Sales Associates for a good sales day!

We would also use the all-important Preshift meetings as a means to extol praise for the previous day’s results – both team and individual praise was a big part of the meeting – this helped to send the Sales Associates out to start their day on a high note.

I would also call individuals to my office to privately review their sale numbers and offer individual praise. This was also seen as a great motivator because I was taking time to focus on them individually. This emphasized to the associates that they were all important and valued as individuals.

There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that praise is as effective as possible:

  1. Make it Timely – Praise for a desired behavior should occur as close to the behavior happening as is possible. In Admissions, cash out is the perfect time to offer a High-Five for a great shift.
  2. Be Sincere – IF you don’t mean it, don’t say it. Be sure that any praise offered is true and sincere
  3. It must be earned – Praising someone for work they didn’t do is no good either. An informed leader knows who is contributing and who is not. They deliver praise accordingly.
  4. Praise is best when varied – People respond best when praise is varied. Leaders should be sure to “mix it up” and plan varied ways to show their gratefulness.

When your team feels appreciated, they are more willing to expend a little more effort to reach a goal. Offering timely and sincere praise is a great way to keep your team motivated and working toward established goals.


Have a great week!