We are living in times where we are consumed by stress, fear, and anxiety. With so much uncertainty around us, one of the few things that are certain to uplift spirits is positive feedback.
In this article, you will learn some great examples of how you can give positive feedback to your employees, its importance, and a few tips on how to nail them.
What Is Positive Feedback?
Positive feedback is a way of positively evaluating an employee’s strengths, achievements, and talents. By providing positive feedback, you are trying to reinforce their behavior. It is a way of telling them that they’re doing a great job and should continue to do so.
Positive vs Negative Feedback
Positive feedback focuses on what employees did right whereas negative feedback focuses on the opposite. Negative feedback can be constructive where the employer points out areas of improvement and how to do a certain thing in a better way.
Why Is Positive Feedback Important?
We have listed several reasons for giving positive feedback:
- It boosts employee morale and motivation
- Employees are better able to understand the company’s goals and standards
- It makes employees feel proud of their accomplishments
- It increases employee engagement and productivity
- Employees strive to learn more and learn new skills
- Help employees redirect their careers
Positive Feedback Examples
Positive feedback makes employees feel good about themselves. It builds a happy workplace and amplifies one’s dedication and commitment to perform at their best.
As an employer, you should make an effort to compliment your employees on milestones whether big or small. Here are a few examples to help you give delightful and positive feedback to your employees.
Working Over Time
Let’s say you appointed one of your employees for a project that was of great significance to the business. Your employee took it seriously, put in extra effort, went above and beyond, and worked round the clock to make the project operational.
How would you feel? Fantastic and proud of course. But, it is just not enough to have this moment all by yourself. You must share it with your employee and let them know how commendable their efforts have been.
Here’s how you can complement them:
- “Your dedication and efforts for this project are commendable. We will be using this as an example for our new and old employees.”
- “You put in extra hours to get this project to completion. Even if I hadn’t known about this, it would have reflected in the outstanding job you did.’
Since your employee went all in for this project, you can reward them with a paid day off so they can relax.
Taking on New Responsibilities and Additional Tasks
Maria works as a content writer in your company. Once she is done with her work, she arranges networking and training events in collaboration with HR. She enjoys taking on additional tasks without letting her primary work suffer.
Your business benefits from this act in monetary and non-monetary terms. How do you let Maria know?
- “Maria, you have been doing a great job with arranging training and networking events. Everyone seems to be in awe of the arrangements. Please feel free to approach me if you need any additional help.”
- “Maria, you’re one of the few people at the company who has taken the initiative to do something extra apart from the daily tasks. We appreciate it and will share this as an example with others.”
To bolster this feedback, you can also give a certificate or reward that your employee can physically hold on to. It will remind her of the efforts she put in and will continue to do so.
Producing High-Quality Work
John meets his deadlines on time and pays attention to details. He doesn’t rush through and ensures the client’s feedback is adhered to at each step. He considers all aspects and meets the company’s expectations.
As a manager, you feel proud and should let John know how he has been doing.
- “John, I see you put a lot of thought and effort into your work. I like how you value clients and work to their satisfaction. I hope you will continue to do so.”
- “John, it’s commendable how you give your 100% to every task. It is a pleasure to have you on the team. I hope others take inspiration from you.”
Abiding by Company’s Values
Sarah embodies your company’s values and implements them in her work and daily interactions with her colleagues. She demonstrates the company’s values when dealing with vendors and customers that in turn amplifies the company’s reputation.
With this behavior, Sarah is contributing towards her personal development as well as the company’s success. How will you frame your feedback?
- “We finally signed the contract with AB Constructions and all the credit goes to you. They were delighted by how honest you were with the numbers and how you proactively listened to them. Great Work!’
- “Sarah, you were great at the meeting today. I loved how you encouraged everyone to contribute their two cents. Thank you!”
You can further reinforce this feedback by gifting her a customized item such as a cup that has the company’s values engraved on it.
Achieving a goal, no matter how big or small should be appreciated and celebrated. Employees should be made to feel the success by giving them heartfelt feedback.
You can give them positive feedback in the following ways:
- “This was a challenging goal to achieve but you did it. What I particularly liked was your strategy for doing it right. This reflects on your intelligence and perseverance. Keep it up!”
- “There couldn’t have been a better resource than you for this goal. You executed it very creatively, I shall be taking some tips from you too.”
Resolving a Conflict Well
Conflict resolution is one of the skills employers now look for when recruiting. It is essential for work cultures that have teamwork. Let’s say you see an employee step in between two colleagues engaged in an argument during a meeting. The conflict was resolved peacefully and both the employees returned to work, happily talking to each other. How would you react?
Well, you’ll walk up to the peacemaker and say a few words. What could they be?
- ‘You were brilliant at the meeting today. I was amazed by how well you tackled both the parties, listening to both the parties and creating a win-win situation. If it wasn’t for your timely gesture, things could have gotten ugly.’
- “ Your wisdom reflected in how well you managed the situation today without letting it go out of hand. I shall be using this as an example for the orientation of new hires.’
Helping a Peer
Employees helping each other fosters trust and support in a company. It holds the team together and makes the environment conducive to learning. You don’t have to wait for annual performance reviews to let your employees know how you appreciate this quality.
You can just walk up to them and let them know in either of the following ways:
- “Your colleague managed to submit this presentation in time because you helped her. I just want you to know that we really appreciate this given how you are swamped with projects yourself.”
- “Thanks for lending in your expertise to your colleague for this project. It really was helpful.”
Employees Needing a Morale Boost
Richard, a great resource to the sales team, has been very quiet in the last few meetings. You sense something is wrong and decide to speak to him. It is important to keep in mind that employees could feel demotivated for a variety of reasons. As a good employer, it is always a good idea to find out what’s bothering them.
- “Hey Richard, is there something that’s bothering you? Please know that I am always there if you need to talk. Work can wait because I know you’ll catch up on it.’
- Richard, I want you to know that you have been doing an excellent job with the product demos. We have had a couple of new subscriptions in the past week because of the clarity with which you explain our product features. Let me know if you need me for anything.”
Delighting an Upset Customer
Customers are always right. Organizations that realize this reap the benefits as well. So, if you have an employee who goes above and beyond to satisfy the customer, you really are very lucky. They just prevented your customer from churning. How should you reward this employee?
- “It is a pleasure to be working with someone like you who understands the importance of retaining old customers. I am in awe of how well you responded to all the queries and came up with viable answers and solutions for all. It was indeed very inspiring.”
- “You’re one of the few employees who received feedback from customers and that too is a good one. It is all because of the hard work you put in learning about the customers’ needs. Great work!”
Learning From Past Mistakes
There is absolutely no harm in providing constructive criticism when employees make mistakes as it’s all part of the learning process.
However, when employees learn from their past mistakes and implement them in their work, they should be praised equally.
- “I read your last blog and was extremely impressed. You really listened to my feedback and were mindful while working on this piece.”
- “Congratulations on finally making your idea work. I know the past few weeks have been hard on you given the continuous changes you had to make to your solution. But because you took everyone’s viewpoint in focus, your idea turned out to be the best.”
Developing a New Skill
A skill whether hard or soft is precious and something to hold on to. So for example, you noticed that your employee has started to plan and organize their work beforehand. You witness them making a to-do list and hanging it right next to their screen.
What do you do? You shouldn’t wait for this to reflect in the results. The results will eventually show once they hone the skill. It will be a nice gesture to walk up to them and let them know that even the small things count.
- “I see you have started making a to-do list lately. I think that’s a great idea to streamline your tasks. Well done!”
- Your organization skills reflect how well you prioritize your tasks. I would like it to share with the team in our next weekly meeting. “
Feeling Overwhelmed With Pressing Deadlines
A multitude of tasks and responsibilities can cause employee burnout. They may feel stressed and overwhelmed as a result of which they may exhibit tardiness or increased absenteeism.
As a manager, you shouldn’t get angry about this. In fact, you should show kindness and understanding towards them. Here’s how you may do so:
- “I know the past few weeks have been mentally and physically exhausting. Don’t worry if you haven’t been able to get past stage 1. Please let me know if you need some time off.’
- “I understand the workload is crazy these days. Please let me know if you need my assistance in anything.”
Best Attendance Record
Alina makes sure she shows up to work every day. Apart from that, she has always been there when you needed her to do something extra without batting an eye.
It is a great idea to let her know that you acknowledge her support and steadfastness. You can make use of the following:
- “It is a delight to see your happy face in the office every day. Your determination and dedication for your work reflect in your attendance record.”
- “Alina, thanks for sticking around at the office yesterday. It was for your well-thought-out recommendations and cheerful presence that we were able to pull through this project.”
Tips for Valuable Feedback
There are 3 important points that you should consider when giving feedback to your employee. Let’s go through them one by one.
Don’t just give feedback for the sake of giving feedback. Give it when you really feel the employee truly earned it. The feedback that is authentic is taken seriously.
Your feedback has to be to the point and not anything that causes confusion to the employee. Make sure to praise one skill at a time so that the employee knows what to target.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to wait for annual performance reviews or the next Town Hall to praise your employees. Just do it as soon as possible so that it reinforces the successful behavior.
Things to Avoid While Giving a Feedback
Three things that you should totally avoid doing when giving feedback are listed below:
Going overboard with giving feedback can sound empty and fake to the employee. Try to be as direct and specific as possible.
Praising for Daily Tasks
While it is a good idea to praise employees for their daily tasks, it should not be too comprehensive. Save the detailed praises for bigger, more challenging tasks.
You are just not limited to praising employees junior to you. You can praise people higher up in the hierarchy. However, you should not over-praise them and be as specific as possible.