Praise You Like I Should

Kevin King —  March 26, 2013 — 3 Comments

I crave praise at my job. When a colleague or peer acknowledges my good work, I want to do even better for the group or organization. This idea that people excel when given proper praise for succeeding is not a new discovery.  Great leaders have discovered that a healthy dose of praise equals productivity and happiness at work.  I have also discovered that if I am consistent in my praise, it makes it easier to assist an employee during rough times.  So why do I find it so hard to remember to dish out praise?  This has been a leadership weakness of mine for years. I have tried many different methods to try and remember to sing about the successes of my staff with varied results. After climbing a mountain of failed attempts, I have turned to the Oracle of Jobs for help.  I use the Reminders app on the iPhone and iPad to nudge me that the staff needs to be held up. Each week I set my electronic devices to remind me to send a Thank You note or an email to a direct report praising them for contributing to the betterment of the library.  Another benefit of using the app is that you will have a compiled list of the individuals receiving the gesture.  This small action can not only change the course of someone’s day, but also spread throughout your library so everyone benefits.

If one man praises you, a thousand will repeat the praise. – Japanese Proverb

Kevin King


Kevin King is the Head of Branch and Circulation Services at the Kalamazoo (MI) Public Library. Previously Kevin led Teen Services at KPL, where he helped build a nationally recognized program. Kevin has presented all over the country on many topics including teen services, innovation, graphic novels, and programming. As a member of ALA, YALSA, PLA and the Michigan Library Association, Kevin has served on various committees and has luckily won a couple of awards. In his spare time Kevin obsesses over the Detroit Tigers, listens to music and does his best to be a kick ass dad to Abigail and Rachael.

3 responses to Praise You Like I Should


    We have a bulletin board where staff can post “You’re Awesome” comments about their coworkers when they want to recognize them for outstanding work. But it’s also important for supervisors to make sure they’re recognizing their staff on a regular basis. If all you’re doing is correcting and nit-picking, your staff will not be as motivated and will start to fear you – not a good environment for productivity and innovation.


    We’re in the process of creating a staff recognition board for the whole staff, but I like the idea of setting a reminder for regular praise and thanks. As a result of your post, I sent one of my staffers a thank you email for her help. Thanks for the reminder!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. 3 Reasons Your Compliment Made My Day « Library Lost & Found - July 14, 2016

    […] are just as important to library leaders as they are to everyone else. In the last two days I’ve received three compliments about my […]

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