Praise in Public, Correct in Private


There was a time when violators of the accepted standards of behavior were punished publicly in the market square in stocks.

People passing by would talk about them and throw bad things at them. The intent was obviously to discourage others from imitating this behavior.

Public humiliation is a flawed motivation strategy however.  It fosters employee resentment, harms morale, and destroys motivation–let alone prevents employee engagement from ever occurring.

When employees fail, managers should follow this advice: Praise in public, correct (criticize) in private!

While there are some situations where you may need to correct an employee publicly (to prevent an injury from occurring, to stop abusive or illegal behavior in the workplace, to address an immediate crisis already occurring, etc.), these are uncommon occurrences. And, even in these situations, you can stop the offending behavior and then remove the offending employee to a private setting to address their actions more thoroughly with them in private.

When managers correct employees privately, employees perform better over time. As much as possible, use this strategy to provide feedback to your employees and improve their performance. It is effective leadership.

When you criticize your employees, what they will remember most is how you made them feel. They won't forget that you embarrassed them in front of their peers and they'll hold it against you! Click To Tweet

Video: 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Criticize Your Employees Publicly

Public humiliation is a flawed motivation strategy AND it usually backfires! As much as possible, give your employees their STARS in public and their STRIPES in private. They'll respect you for it. Click To Tweet
Written by Robert Tanner | Copyrighted Material | All Rights Reserved Worldwide

This article is accurate to the best of the author’s knowledge.
Content is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional advice in business, management, legal, or human resource matters.

Robert Tanner, MBA

Welcome to my leadership blog. I'm the Founder & Principal Consultant of Business Consulting Solutions LLC, a certified practitioner of psychometric assessments, and a former Adjunct Professor of Management. As a leadership professional, I bring 20+ years of real world experience at all levels of management.

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