Sure, it’s important to offer constructive criticism when someone on your staff could improve an area of their job performance. But providing employees with positive feedback is equally important. It’s something every business owner, manager, and supervisor should be deliberate about doing on a regular basis.
Providing employees with positive feedback is a reward for good performance, their abilities, or their loyalty, and it’s also a way of motivating higher performance and improving employee job satisfaction. The bottom line is, employees who feel appreciated and recognized are happier, better at their job, and more likely to stick around at your company.
Of course, just like with constructive criticism, there are professional, effective, productive ways to offer positive feedback. Taking a constructive approach makes your comments more believable, meaningful, and resonant. It also helps your feedback serve as positive reinforcement, encouraging more of the behaviors or performance you want to see.
So, follow these tips for providing employees with positive feedback to ensure that your words carry weight and create all the benefits for the recipient and for you.
Reasons for Providing Employees with Positive Feedback
The first part of providing constructive positive feedback is delivering it for appropriate reasons. Some of the most common good reasons for offering it include when an employee:
- Finishes a difficult assignment
- Does a great job on an assignment
- Brings about an outstanding result
- Meets or exceeds expectations or a goal
- Goes above and beyond their job duties
- Makes a valuable contribution to a discussion
- Solves a problem
- Receives praise from a customer or client
- Takes on additional responsibility
- Acts like a team player
- Helps a coworker
- Handles a workplace conflict well
- Reaches an employment milestone
- Could use a boost in confidence
Tips for Delivering Praise to Workers
Here are some pointers for providing employees with positive feedback in the most beneficial and constructive manner:
- Give the feedback as soon after the triggering event as possible
- Tie the behavior directly to a positive result (for the company or for a person)
- Be detailed and specific about what you’re praising and why (avoid merely saying things like “Great job!”)
- Offer the positive feedback in front of other employees when appropriate
- Couple the praise with another free or low-cost way of rewarding an employee when it’s warranted
- Give every employee positive feedback occasionally so they all feel like part of the team
- Don’t give positive feedback just for the sake of giving it; reserve it for when it’s truly deserved, or it ceases to be meaningful