We are quick to complain, point out mistakes, give “corrective” feedback and be negative. There’s a place for that because it’s important to learn from mistakes and focus on fixing the things that hinder performance and success. However, in the absence of positive feedback – which builds on the things that are being done right – negative, corrective or constructive feedback is counter-productive.
Business organisations depend on feedback to make changes that will generate more profits. Both positive and negative feedback from employees, business associates, customers and management serve as sources for change.
Positive feedback works on the premise of building on a person’s or organisation’s strengths. The theory behind positive feedback is that if you a tell a person what he is doing well, that person will likely repeat the behaviour to secure continued approval.
Highlighting strengths helps generate a sense of accomplishment and motivation. When you focus on strengths, you increase engagement. Increased engagement leads to increased job satisfaction and retention of key employees. And we all know that happy employees lead to more profitable businesses.
So what can we start doing more of to ensure that positive feedback outweighs negative?
Firstly, just as negative feedback is best delivered as close to the time of the event as possible, so is positive feedback. It’s pointless to wait for an annual performance review to give positive feedback. Seize the moment.
Thank people. Yes, it’s their job and they get paid to do it, but when you show your appreciation, it motivates the employee to keep doing more of the same.
Make the positive feedback specific. “Great job” isn’t good enough. Explain what made it a great job… “that presentation was convincing and credible because it was backed by facts”.
Positive feedback in business is not just reserved for your employees. Appreciating clients who pay on time, congratulating them on making good product choices, and thanking them for placing their trust in you also serves to strengthen relationships with clients who feel good when they do business with you.
Similarly, positive feedback to your suppliers and recognition of their service to you and your business is often forgotten. Your suppliers are an extension of your team, and they have the ability to make or break the service or product you offer. Positive feedback helps them improve their service to you and prioritise you as their client.
If you are still reading this, here’s some positive feedback for you… Well done on recognising the need to surround yourself with people and information that aims to inspire you to grow, learn and become a better business person. And thank you for subscribing to our blog – it gives us the motivation to keep writing them!
Have a great weekend…