Feedback and Recognition

Erika DowellOctober 7, 2013

Recognizing employees for a job well done is very important.

It’s also important to tell them what they did well and what they could improve on for next time. Here are a few ideas on how to make your feedback count. The feedback loop is what will encourage your employees to do great and keep your company growing.

The importance of feedback

Feedback needs to be effective to be useful. It will bolster your company’s team and help them improve over time. Postitive feedback helps people discover and leverage their strengths. Negative feedback identifies problem behaviours and is solution focused.

Feedback is timely

Feedback should be done in a timely manner ensuring the behaviour is fresh in your minds. Timeliness of feedback is critical for positive results. Imagine waiting to tell someone that they did a great job on that report… three months after the fact. They’ve probably finished up several other reports or forgotten about it. If you wanted to tell them some areas to improve, three months later isn’t helpful. Give feedback right away.

Feedback is mostly positive

The vast majority of behaviour in your organization should be positive. We tend to manage by exception, identifying the problems and not the successes. Affirming employee behaviour with positive feedback nurtures a positive work relationship and environment. As much as you want wrong behaviours to cease, remember that you want great behaviours to continue.

Feedback is effective

Effective feedback is done in a constructive and specific way. Destructive criticism is likely to make an enemy out of the receiver. Focus on behaviour and results. For negative feedback, ask the person what could be done better. And be specific. This will get buy-in and the results you want - more effective behaviour from the employee.

An example of effective positive feedback: “When you contribute your ideas in a meeting, it demonstrates your value and lets everyone benefit from your expertise. Thank you.”

An example of effective negative feedback: “When you don’t contribute in a meeting, we cannot benefit from your perspective. How can you make sure you contribute next time?”

Feedback is a safe place for discussion

Feedback should be a brief conversation on where to improve or what has been done well. By focusing on behaviour and results, your feedback can be firm, fair, and friendly. Employees should feel safe when receiving feedback, and they should feel welcome to ask questions.

Feedback is built into the Culture

The strange thing about feedback is that it needs to be built into the company culture. Why? We aren’t used to giving or receiving feedback. However, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself “Was that a good thing I just did? Is it going to be used?” You want to know, ask for it! Some of the best feedback comes from co-workers who can give you advice on how to improve or what you did well. Follow up with a quick e-mail and small gift withKiind and you’ll employee will know you appreciate them.

Employee recognition

Recognizing employees is another important aspect of the feedback loop. I like to consider this the follow-up to feedback.

Like feedback, it’s in the moment. “John did a great job closing that client today. If you want some tips on how to close a sale, talk to John.”

Recognition relates to the overall goals of the company and/or activity. According tothis company, 79% of employees felt that recognition gave them a stronger sense of the company’s goals and objectives.

Be sincere and authentic about it, no one likes fake praise. Employees that feel truly appreciated and recognized for hard work are more likely to stick around. The legitimacy of your recognition will also attract top talent too.

If it’s in conversation, be sure to use appropriate voice levels. Keep an appropriate conversation distance away as to avoid intimidating the recipient of recognition.

Be appreciative. Perhaps it’s just publicly acknowledging that they did something or it’s sending a great gift. You’ll know what’s best and what suits your company culture.

It’s like giving a public thumbs up.

recognition