For Managers, Praise Can Be a Dangerous Thing

Last Updated Apr 9, 2008 5:11 PM EDT

The Takeaway: Researchers asked a group of 80 undergraduate students to play the role of senior managers in charge of hiring. Some participants were praised for their decision-making in hiring, a skill relevant to hiring, while others were praised for their (irrelevant) creativity. All were told that their new recruit performed poorly. Those who had received praise for their decision-making were more likely to invest further resources in the problem employee than those who had been praised for their creativity. Bottom line: Praise your employees when they actually deserve it, not when they most want to hear it.

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.