Before we talk about how to give positive feedback at work, we need to first understand what actually feedback means. Feedback is a way of communicating ones observations about the behaviour, attitude and performance of another person. It is a way to express ones desires and expectations to the other. It is also a system to initiate an interaction about how to improve the current situation, resolve problems, and enhance the performance of an organisation and its work force.
Why Positive Feedback is Essential?
Giving feedback to ones colleagues and employees provide an insight about their performance. It also provides solutions to problems. Positive feedback not only improves the performance of the organisation, its work force; but also helps the organisation to grow. Providing regular positive feedback is essential. In an organisation feedback is very important and plays a vital role in the overall success of the organisation. Feedback sessions have the following benefits:
- It is a way to collect information, about the goals and expectations of the organisation and its management. It is a way to identify the positive and negative aspects of the work force, and how these can initiate positive results.
- It is a process which provides views and ideas of the entire work force. These ideas, suggestions can be used to resolve current and future problems, increase the efficiency of the organisation and plan realistic and fruitful strategies and plan of actions.
Through the feedback process we can measure and analyse the existing strategies and action plans, how they have been able to establish the current goals and objectives. Whether these strategies are effective or they need modifications.
It helps in improving the employee and employer relationship. Feedback sessions help the employees to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings. These sessions help in identifying ways to resolve problems and identify ways to improve the performance of the work force. It enhances team spirit, cohesion, develops motivation and inspiration among the work force.
The feedback sessions help in taking effective and realistic future decisions, to benefit the organisation. They can lead to development of resourceful and competent policies and amendments.
Feedback sessions also facilitate co ordination among the different departments of the organisation. This will in turn facilitate easy functioning within the departments. All the departments will work in unison to achieve the organisation goals and objectives. It will also enable to answer various inter departmental queries and questions in an efficient and quick way.
Tips for Providing Positive and Productive Feedback
#1. Create a comfort zone
Make sure that the person whom you are giving the feedback is comfortable with it, if he is not comfortable then he will not apply it practically and the feedback would become unproductive. Always remember that your feedbacks should not embarrass the other person, it should not make the other person feel bad about it. Say the thing in such a manner that the person gets the message and is motivated to improve his performance and attitude.
#2. Be positive
The positive feedbacks that you give are taken openly by people and they tend to take the new ideas and directions given by you. Whereas negative feedback comes as a threat, the person gets the feeling that change or adjustment needs to done and he becomes defensive. Negative feedback cannot be done away with, but one needs to follow it up at regular intervals, so that positive outcome is reached.
#3. Be specific
Do not speak in general while giving a feedback, be specific. Identify the area and point out what you exactly want, for example when you want a person’s ideas or opinions, DO not just say speak up, you can say something like, you are smart and creative, I want hear at least one idea or suggestions from you in the meetings.
#4. Be immediate
Always remember that you need to give your feedbacks at short time spans. Do not take too long to give your views on someone’s performance. It will be useless. If a person works in a way, and receives a late feedback, it may be difficult for him to make the necessary modifications, or he may even forget that thing over a period of time. Therefore it is best to give feedbacks at regular intervals, when the things still remain fresh in the mind.
#5. Be respectful
Another thing that needs attention is that, you need to be careful not to hurt the sentiments of others. To avoid this, one can start by asking the person what and how much he understands a particular, work, situation or thing. And then tell him politely where lacks and how he can improve them. Tell him about his positive assets and how they can be helpful to him.
When giving a feedback, give objective, and forward moving feedbacks, which will inspires and motivates the person to perform better. Let him know that he is being graded for his performance. Make sure he understands every aspect of what you require and desire. Make them feel that you are also there to help and guide to success.
Identify the behaviour or activity which needs a mention. Tell the person what he/she did that requires appreciation. Give details about the person and your observation of the work or activity which you liked.
While giving a feedback try to link the performance of your employees or colleagues to the positive outcomes of the organisation. Recognise the efforts and behaviour, and encourage them to keep the same attitude towards their work. Tell them success of the outcome depends highly on their high level performance.
#9. Elaborate the impact
Tell your employees or colleagues how their performance and contribution has resulted in bringing about positive change in your life, inspired other co-workers or how it has benefited the organisation as a whole.
#10. Express gratitude
Always remember to thank the person for his efforts and attitude, and let him know that you would expect the same type of dedication, motivation and positive performance from him in the future also.
#11. Spread the message
When you see a good performance from your employees, make it a point to praise him, in front of other employees. This increases loyalty and motivation of that particular person and he thrives to perform more efficiently. On the other hand sharing it with other employs will also encourage other employees to work with the same efficiency.
#12. Line of feedback
It is not necessary that feedback should come from the top to bottom. Encourage your employees to praise their co=workers, subordinates and also their superiors. As long as the feedback should be authentic and appropriate to share.
#13. Develop a plan
If your organisation is big and you cannot be available for observing the behaviour and performance of your employees, develop a system to gather information on the performance of your employees and colleagues. This plan or format should be simple and every individual should have clear understanding of it. So that they are able to contribute to it. It should be developed in such a way that it suits every employee and is fair to all.
It is always better to develop a performance report of each individual. Note down his positive assets, how one resolves problems faced by him. This documentation will also be helpful at the time of performance appraisal and making promotion decisions.
Prepare well before giving a feedback. Make note of the things you want to talk about. Employee’s behaviour, attitude and performance. How it has benefited the organisation as a whole and the other co-workers. Where more effort needs to be put in and so on.
#16. Way of communication
Make sure that your feedbacks are meaningful and helpful. The feedbacks should be work related, and should elaborate the on the job behaviour and performance of the employees. Your non verbal communications such as your expressions and body language is understood and interpreted well by your work force.
#17. Time of feedback
The feedbacks should productive and constructive. They should be as close to the performance time as possible. So that it can further motivate the person to improve his performance and do away with the existing loopholes.
#18. Know your employees
You should know the positive and negative aspects and qualities of your employees. You should know what motivates them and how their performance can be improved to the fullest efficiency.
Before making a decision, always take the feedback of your employees, about what they think about your expectations and problem solving strategy. Clarify why a particular thing needs to be done in the way you your desire. This will ensure understanding of the aspect by your employees, which will indirectly affect the success and performance of your employees.
#20. Interactive feedback
Always allow your employees to speak out their mind. Allow them to speak about their performance, work strategies and the problems they encountered while working. This gives an idea of how they succeeded; it also gives ideas and strategies to other employees who can use them to resolve their problems.
#21. Express concern
Avoid negative feedback as much as possible. But if you still need to bring in the negative, express it in a form of concern. A pitch of concern brings in a sense of importance and care. Avoid anger, frustration and harsh tone while giving a negative feedback, let your silent expressions do the work.
#22. Direct feedback
When you want to give a feedback to a person, make it a point to give the feedback face to face, or in the presence of the person. You should avoid doing through the messenger process. Feedback is productive and successful when it is direct and informal in manner.
#23. Observations not interpretation
Always make sure that you convey the observations and not what you interpret. Tell what you have noticed and not what you think. And report the observation at an actual level and not as a behaviour attribute. These observations should be factual and non judgemental.
While giving a feedback, make it systematic. You should start with what you are going to talk about. Provide the details about why you are going to speak about it. Tell how and when it happened. Elaborate what positive aspects it brings out and how it benefits the organisation and the work force as a whole.
#25. Develop growth Mindset
Negative feedbacks cannot be avoided. But you can change the way of giving negative feedbacks. Tell them how you as a new comer committed a number of mistakes and how you learned from them, and reached a successful position un the organisation. Take credit for your mistakes and motivate your employees to develop a positive growth mindset, teach them how to take in negative feedback and transform them into ways to improve oneself and excel in ones work.
Therefore we can say that feedback is a way to express ones observations and thoughts to ones employees and colleagues. Feedback is an important and efficient two way communication within an organisation. It facilitates smooth functioning of the organisation and helps in improving the performance of its work force and organisation as a whole. It brings about a sense of responsibility, team spirit and loyalty among the employees and they thrive to perform at the best to achieve the organisations goals and objectives. Feedback can be both positive and negative. One should always try to provide positive feedbacks, to facilitate motivation and inspiration among the work force for efficient performance. However sometimes one cannot avoid negative feedbacks, the negative feedback should not hurt the sentiments of the employees, but should be efficient enough to carry the actual message that needs to be conveyed.
One might feel telling people that doing an excellent job is easy, but the fact is that most of the people do not know how to give helpful, genuine and constructive feedbacks