Giving positive feedback to your employee(s) is a great way to boost morale, increase productivity, loyalty, and attendance, and help retain good talent. Even though today’s job market is very competitive, employees who are exceptionally talented at what they do can be difficult to retain if they don’t feel that they are being valued by the company. Helping your employees feel valued can be as simple as giving genuine positive feedback. I add the word genuine in there because we can all go around saying ‘great job,’ but we really need to mean it…or at the very least make it sound like we mean it.
Here are a few tips to giving genuine positive feedback:
- Be Specific. Provide specifics of what you are praising them for. Don’t just say, ‘hey, thanks,’ be specific about what you are giving them feedback about.
- Be Direct. Be direct in how you give the feedback. Don’t beat around the bush. They shouldn’t have to try to figure out what you’re trying to tell them.
- Frequency. Give feedback frequently. Not just a couple times a year when reviews come around, but do it then, too.
- Appropriate Recognition. Give feedback appropriate for the type of recognition deserved. If it’s a small success then a simple comment would suffice; however, if it’s a huge success, then a larger recognition may be in order (ability to come in late / leave early one day, throw a party, etc.)
- Say ‘Thank you’. This is probably one of the easiest suggestions to do consistently. The ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ phrases can go a long way with any employee.
- Extra Accommodation. Accommodate their personal needs and let them know that it’s because they are doing a great job at ___. Remember to be specific.
- Wording. Change up the wording you use. Using different wording can help with the genuine nature of the feedback.
- Peer Recognition. Give positive feedback in front of other superiors as appropriate: Let your employee be praised in front of your peers. This will increase his or her morale as well.
Positive feedback can, and will, go a long way when done correctly. It may take a while to get used to giving positive feedback, but once you get in the habit of it, you’ll find it much easier to continue doing on a regular basis.
Don’t forget that there’s also negative feedback, which should also be addressed on a frequent basis with any employee. However, when you have to give negative feedback, always end on a high point by letting them know what they have done well. This will help the employee feel better about changing what they aren’t doing correctly. However, I have never found a situation where giving negative feedback in front of other employees (superiors or otherwise) is a good idea.