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How To Give Positive Feedback

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Don't ever underestimate the power of positive feedback. We are quick to point out to someone when they make a mistake. Sometimes we forget to acknowledge them when they do something right. Giving positive feedback can be a powerful tool for employee motivation. Here's how to use it most effectively.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Very little

Here's How:

  1. Do it now. Positive feedback is too important to let slide. Say something right away.
  2. Make it public. While negative feedback should be given privately, positive feedback should be given publicly. Do it in front of as large a group as appropriate.
  3. Be specific. Don't just say "Good job, Sally." Instead say something like "Hakim, that new procedure you developed for routing service calls has really improved our customer satisfaction. Thanks for coming up with it."
  4. Make a big deal out of it. You don't want to assemble the entire company every time you give positive feedback, but do as much ceremony as the action warrants.
  5. Consider the receiver. It is important to consider the feeling of the person receiving the recognition. For a very shy person, thanking him in front of his workgroup is probably most appropriate. For another person, you might hang a banner, balloons, and streamers in the department area.
  6. Do it often. Don't wait for the big successes. Celebrate the small ones too.
  7. Do it evenly. Big successes need big recognition; small successes need smaller recognition. If you throw a party for every small success, you diminish its effect for a big success.
  8. Be sincere. Don't praise someone for coming in on time. Don't congratulate someone for just doing their job. People will see right through you. Really mean it when you give positive feedback.
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