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Motivation Recognition

I am not sure how to deal with a manager who gives too much recognition. Every time any of us do anything, he pours lavish praise upon us. This is getting to be a distraction and even a joke, and several of us are wondering if we should say something.

Excessive positive feedback can be as uplifting and motivational as background noise. However, of all the problems that one can face in the workplace, excessive thanks is one of the least problematic.

Some managers operate under the erroneous assumption that if some recognition is a powerful motivator, then constant recognition should be the ultimate motivator. Although some employees may in fact react positively to your manager's feedback style, the most effective managers understand the importance of varying their managerial styles to fit the needs and motivations of their employees. And, many remember from introductory psychology that intermittent reinforcement is far more motivational than constant reinforcement. There is no "one size fits all" managerial style, but that is what your manager has adopted.

Since this matter has the potential to interfere with communication, respect, and performance in the department, you should discuss it with your manager. You are not coming at him with criticism, but rather with some thoughts about the ways to improve departmental operations. This type of feedback is very valuable, and certainly worthy of some recognition. It will be quite revealing to see if he provides it.

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