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When conducting a workshop as an employee retention speaker recently, one participant came up with one of the most novel ideas I have heard in ages.  They would carry ten pennies in their left pocket and every time they praised someone, they would take one penny out and move it to the right pocket.  They would track how long it would take to move all the pennies from the left to the right.

This is a great way to see if, in fact, you are praising people and how often.  You could do this same thing and include how often you thank people, how often you say “please,” etc.  I love this idea because in every employee retention strategies workshop I conduct, everyone is so concerned about “over praising.”  This technique will tell you if you are…or are not!

My suspicion is that most managers will find that it takes a LONG time to move all the pennies.  That tells me they are not either praising their people or their people are not very good.  I suspect it is the former that is taking place because our natural tendency is to look for things to improve on versus looking at things people have done right.

I am writing this on a Sunday so as soon as I am done, I am going to get my ten pennies, load up my left pocket and see how long it takes to move them all.  Are you up for trying this challenge?