Opinion

Praise vs pay rise

2 min read

03 August 2011

Why praise can be more motivating than a pay rise.

I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like to be congratulated for a job well done, for trying their best, for achieving a first. Some people like this to be a public acknowledgement, others a quiet and discrete word, but nevertheless a noted response to a particular achievement. 

I am one of these people, and respond well to praise. Knowing how I feel about this, I regularly go out of my way to publicly and privately acknowledge the achievements of my team.

And this is not just for the big stuff because, quite frankly, it’s often the little things that really matter; the staying late to cover for a sick member of staff and missing a personal appointment. These need as big a thank you and reward as securing a new client. 

Many people, including myself, have imposter syndrome. You know, that nagging thought that you are not quite sure you have the right to be where you are and will somehow shortly be found out.

I experienced this recently when I found myself speaking to an illustrious audience on the 27th floor of the Gherkin in Coutts bank prestigious offices. Me, a little girl born in a back to back house in Huddersfield! In these circumstances, the congratulatory responses are welcome indeed. 

Women, by and large, seem to be good at this – we support and recognise each other’s achievements, big and small. But I am sad to say I have only met a handful of men who operate in this way. 

Where the praise is less than forthcoming, I have felt cheated, unappreciated and so de-motivated. 

This may be be a female phenomenon. If so, it needs to be recognised by our male colleagues and bosses because, believe me, it can be more motivating than a pay rise if used appropriately.

Jo Haigh is head of corporate finance for Corporate Finance Services. She can be contacted on 01274 868 958/07850 475878 or at Jo.haigh@corpfinservices.co.uk