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When is the last time your work was praised by your boss or someone above them?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

When is the last time your work was praised by your boss or someone above them?

  • Very recently. Within the last couple of days: 22%
  • Recently. Within the last week or two: 22%
  • A while ago. Sometime last month: 16%
  • A long time ago. Several months ago: 18%
  • Praise? What’s that?: 21%

Starved for praise. The easiest and least expensive form of reward is a simple “Thank you. Great job.” It’s disappointing that more than half of you haven’t heard praise since last month. It’s challenging to give your best at an employer and not get any recognition whatsoever for your efforts. Let’s flip this poll on its head -- when is the last time you praised someone on your team? Would they answer this poll the same way? Take a moment of time to offer a genuine thank you for something they’ve done. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be as simple as recognizing their consistency of effort and that you appreciate them always delivering their work on time and to standard. We all need validation in some form. Make sure you’re providing it to your people as often as you’d like to receive it from your manager. For those who are delivering regular praise, good job -- keep up the good work and your focus on motivating your team!

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."