Want people to care about their work? Do you wish they would put some effort into what they do instead of doing the minimum?
Show appreciation. Wow, great job. I noticed that little extra you did on the Smith proposal, thank you.
What about when your salesperson doesn’t get that big deal? How about, “I saw the work you put into that and understand how disappointed you must be. Still, you can be proud of the effort, I am.”
I hear from many managers and CEOs that they wish their employees would “grow up”. “Do they need strokes for every silly thing they do?” No. But ask yourself, are you giving them any? (strokes) Yes, you pay them and that’s the technical end of the contract.
But if you want a little more at a no extra cost…
One last thought. If you say it, you have to mean it. Insincere praise can be deadly.