Following on from last week - Murray explores the next activity from this chapter of Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. 

Point 4 - Give Recognition and Show Appreciation   

MURRAY'S KEY POINTS                                    

  • Staff won't going to give you 100% if they feel no-one cares and appreciates what they do.
  • Thank people each and every day (why limit this to staff?).
  • Consider each individual's personality when giving recognition (some prefer one-on-one comments – others want it announced nationwide)
  • Consider all positive vs. negative interactions.  A ratio of 3:1 for work…..5:1 for marriages!!!

 Read the Excerpt 

"The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated," wrote William James, the father of American psychology. It is impossible to be motivated and do great work if you don't feel that somebody cares and appreciates what you do.

Studies have shown that for people to be happy and productive at work, they need to experience positive interactions (appreciation, praise) vs. negative (reprimands, criticism) with their manager in a ratio of at least 3:1. (Watch out: For a marriage to work you actually need 5:1 ratio!!) So make it a simple habit to thank people each and every day – and that includes using the word generously in emails to your team.


The way people want to receive recognition varies greatly: public vs. private, material vs. immaterial, from peers vs. from superiors, etc. Great managers test different approaches and observe reactions until they find the triggers that work best with each of their people. At MOM's Organic Market, managers will sometimes publicly recognize employees who have performed well, but CEO Scott Nash has often found that one-on-one comments are most effective.  

 If you would like to discuss this article or ways to grow your business,

contact Murray Kilpin on  5592 3644 

Verne Harnish is an author (Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, Scaling Up, and The Greatest Business Decisions of all Time); lecturer in entrepreneurship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and co-founded Gazelles Growth Institute, a strategic planning and executive education company. 

Reprinted with kind permission: Scaling up: How a Few Companies Make It….and Why the Rest Don't, Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, 2014