While before I was talking about feedback in general, today I want to talk specifically about positive feedback and the merits of praise.
Just coming back from The Conference Board’s Employee Engagement and Retention Conference last week, I was struck by just how far we have to go in this area. One point that summed it up for me was the following set of questions and responses.
When asked, “do you need encouragement to do your best at work?”
20% replied yes.
When asked, “when you get encouragement, does it motivate you to do your best?”
90% replied yes.
We all read this and think “of course,” we know this. So I ask you, when was the last time you said thanks?
Does your team make it a standard practice to recognize the contributions in an authentic and timely way? Why do we understand so easily when training puppies that rewarding good behavior causes them to behave, but with people we focus on “constructive feedback” (and maybe once a year?!) and expect that to yield results.
I would encourage you to consider making a serious [focused] effort to say thank you more often. Not only will it help someone be motivated to continue to do their best, it might also help you to always look on the bright side of life.