​You’re proud of your team. You want them to feel that they are appreciated. But as leaders some of us just don’t know how to really let them know that. In fact, it can be rather hard to praise someone at the best time and also make it feel genuine. Here are four ways to do it right:

“Good Job” is Not a Good Compliment

You want to inspire your team to do great work, but that requires giving great praise. Don’t just think some stock phrases are going to be enough to make your team feel like they are truly making you proud. Figure out something specifically well done about their accomplishment and make sure you let them know that you noticed it. That will show you truly saw the value of their work. 

Don’t Make Good Work Beat Down Your Door

One of the main benefits of praising team members is because it often creates even better work in the future. If you create a culture that demands only the highest of quality before anything positive is said, then you’ll end up with less and less quality over time. Your job is not to sit around and wait for the best work to knock you over the head, but rather to go searching for ways to give praise. The more good work you find, the more great work will make itself known. 

Praise Someone How They Want to be Praised

Some people like receiving accolades in front of others. This is called a third party affirmation. Some would prefer an email that’s sent through the office to let everyone know the great job their doing. Other employees may prefer to be told alone in your office without anyone around. Try to feel this out. You don’t want your praise to be tempered by a poorly chosen environment. Make sure that you are giving people the chance to feel pride without being embarrassed or marginalized. 

Praise Those Who Praise Others

You are not a superhuman and you can’t spend all day crafting every compliment for every employee you would like to. So instead make sure that your employees are picking up your slack by boosting each other. You need to promote positive thinking and positive talking so that everyone not only feels comfortable giving praise, but sees how valuable it is. Friendly competition can be good for a company, but a group of people working together and feeling like a team is even better.