Additional Information

Site Information

Loading... Please wait... Loading... Please wait...
  • My Account
  • Connect with us

  • Download Our Catalog

Give Positive Feedback to Boost Employee Engagement

Posted by Daniel A. Feerst, BSW, MSW, LISW-CP on

Many supervisors struggle to give feedback. They are for whatever reason, either inexperienced, unpracticed, or not emotionally available to deliver on this skill.

Unfortunately, the inability to provide positive and genuine feedback to employees is one of the most-cited reasons for staff turnover that falls under the column heading “Left because I felt unappreciated.”

The workforce management professional, HR professional, or EAP encountering this personal roadblock in working with supervisors has a few options in the quest to help. Simple education that targets attitude change is the best bet because rarely is the inability to give feedback a signal of some deep personality issue. It’s just simple naivety. This can be cured with some no-fluff education, which takes only a few minutes, on giving positive feedback. Practicing a little follow-up with the supervisor is key, however.

Understanding that positive feedback is both powerful and essential to worker productivity and morale is the most important point to remember about it. The second is timing, and the third is being specific when feedback is given. The fourth, but almost always ignored, point of education is the “post-feedback impact” on the employee.

Obviously, giving positive feedback soon after a positive event or work project makes it most meaningful, so when working with supervisors, offer this coaching advice to them. Note that the ability to be specific is a skill that is also learned though practice and very effectively through role play. Again, make this a target in follow-up with the supervisor.

Being specific means more than telling your employee he or she did a good job, of course. It means identifying and stating (1) what you believe are the traits and skills that contribute to the employee’s ability to do a good job, (2) the results, and (3) the larger, positive impact on the work unit or organization. Capture these three elements in the delivery of feedback and the typical employee will walk out at the end of the day on cloud nine.

The real story of positive feedback is this: Hearing what another person views as positive traits or abilities is valuable to the organization because there is a message replay phenomenon that occurs. Supervisors should be educated about this dynamic in order to appreciate it.

With specifics, the employees can easily remember what was said and “replay” the supervisor’s feedback in the form of positive self-talk or internal messaging that in turn reinforces the employee’s loyalty, positive feelings about the organization, and desire to be engaged. The best part of all is that this is all at zero cost to the organization.

Deliver more content to supervisors via:

Tips sheets (Scroll or Supervisor Topics here)
Frontline Supervisor Newsletter
When You Receive a Disappointing Performance Review
14 Vital Skills for Supervisors Training

comments powered by Disqus