This is the warning of a recent Wall Street Journal article: Most-Praised Generation Craves Kudos at the Office.
I am a strong advocate of a healthy, positive, and strong workplace but I question the need of organizations to hire recognition gurus to help them say, “good job, thank you, and well done.” I think some companies believe that a program is all you need to create a strength based organization.
You can’t hide the lack of authentic caring underneath a blizzard of confetti or balloons full of hot air.
We need genuine and authentic high quality interactions and relationships where leaders voice sincere, concrete and specific appreciation to the people they work with. I also believe you don’t do this to suck more productivity out of people — you do this because it is the right and human thing to do! In addition, you must “care-front” lack of performance, bad behavior, and toxic people. As one Canadian CEO stated a few years back, “you don’t polish a turd.”
And if you feel the euphoric need to take a course in praising or hire a management consultant to transform your workplace into a fun house then I think you are in serious trouble. I recommend you spend the time and money resources you might be tempted to throw at an external expert to tap into the internal expert that resides within you and your relationships to ask the following 2 questions:
How do we genuinely demonstrate caring for each other in ways that are real, authentic, and robust? How can we do this even better?
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