This month, our ICBA Wellness program is looking at building respect in workplaces (click HERE to see some free resources our team has assembled), and it has been a great reminder that we all play a part.

One lesson I’ve been pondering is, “Praise more, criticize less.” We live in an age where social media has made criticism easier and more common than ever. But appreciating someone else’s efforts, and articulating that appreciation – speaking it out loud – is a vital way of building teams that last and succeed.

Let’s hear from the smart folks at the Harvard Business Review:

Gratitude makes people feel valued, and positive feedback has been shown to mitigate the negative effects of stress on employee performance. Neuroscientists have even shown that the brain processes verbal affirmations similarly to financial rewards. As Alan Mulally, former CEO of Ford, has been quoted as saying of his employees, “It’s all about appreciating them, respecting them and thanking them at every step of the way.”

So try to spread a little praise today!

Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 90 companies and nearly 10,000 construction professionals better understand mental health. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out for details.