You might think giving positive feedback is as simple as saying “Good job”, but this misses an opportunity to dive into the valuable work that our colleagues are doing. Below are some tips on how to make your positive feedback count.
You’ll often hear people fret about how to give negative feedback to a co-worker or direct report. But how often do you hear the question, “How should I deliver this positive feedback?”
Structured positive feedback helps someone understand the impact of their behavior and increases the likelihood of them repeating those same successful behaviors. It promotes team morale, raises productivity and engagement, and helps people understand and develop their skills. This process has a net positive effect on your team, which in turn drives more impactful business results.
Giving positive feedback is an essential part of any organization's culture. Both manager-driven and peer to peer feedback facilitate a growth mindset by identifying successful efforts and actions rather than innate abilities.
1. Be Sincere. Don’t just give praise for the sake of giving praise. For positive feedback to be most effective, it should be when an employee truly deserves it. Your message will be much stronger if it comes from a place of authenticity.
2. Be Specific. Your feedback should be as targeted and specific as possible. Let your co-worker know precisely what it is that you are praising - this allows them to understand their skillset better and continue to improve.
3. Be Timely. Give your feedback as soon as possible, rather than waiting for a future check-in or performance meeting. Doing so allows your colleague to feel seen in their efforts and again reinforces those successful behaviors.
4. Highlight Effort and Behavior. Focusing on effort and behavior, rather than inherent skill sets, encourages the development of a growth mindset. This method leads to greater engagement and a higher probability of taking on new challenges.
5. Tie it to the Bigger Picture. Tie your feedback to the more significant issue at hand. Actions don’t exist in a vacuum - when a colleague sees how they are contributing to a team or company goal, they become more motivated to continue the type of work that leads to successful results.
1. Overpraising. Work positive feedback into your repertoire, instead of going from 0-100 all at once. You might think that effusive praise is more beneficial for colleagues, but it runs the risk of sounding empty and not providing any constructive value. Be targeted and direct in your recognition.
2. Praise for Mundane Tasks. As with overpraising, this can sound empty and doesn’t provide real value. Save it for the real wins!
3. Upwards Feedback. Be tactful when approaching your peers, boss or someone more senior than you. Here is another opportunity to be as specific as possible while tying the feedback to the bigger picture.
Positive feedback is a powerful tool to bring out your team’s best performance. By cultivating an environment that encourages praise, organizations can proactively address engagement issues and increase retention. A culture of collaboration and inclusiveness goes a long way towards improving engagement and productivity while increasing the company’s bottom line. Refer to these positive feedback examples next time you want to offer praise, and let us know how it goes!
Photo credit - PeopleImages/Getty Images
BY Laura Iñiguez
BY Laura Iñiguez
BY Laura Iñiguez
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