Show Them Some Love: 5 Ways to Provide Positive Employee Feedback

Amy Fox |


Many managers are quick to focus on what employees are doing that is not working, yet few stop to consider the power of positive feedback. Knowing how to effectively give positive feedback is a powerful tool to develop employee skills and talent and promote the productive behaviors you want to see on your teams,

As the people responsible for translating corporate goals into actions, managers spend a lot of time and focus working to correct gaps in employee performance.Providing positive feedback is just as important, both for motivating top-performing employees and coaching those who are struggling but sincerely working to improve.

Many managers confuse recognition with positive feedback. You can include recognition along with positive feedback but they are different things. Recognition lets employees and their coworkers know they are doing a good job. Feedback, on the other hand, informs employees about the actions they took that worked.

If you want to see more of a particular action or behavior, you should let your employees know what it is they are doing that you appreciate and why. It is about identifying specific employee actions and behaviors and tying them to the results you want to see for your team or business. Be specific, not only about what they did but why it is important. For instance, you might tell the employee how their actions are making a customer or client happy and satisfied, and how that is helping the team’s performance and the company’s bottom line.

Make it your goal to devote the same amount of attention to identifying what is working that you give to identifying problems and performance gaps. Write down specific actions employees are taking that are leading to positive results. And don’t intermingle positive feedback with constructive criticism. Some managers do this to “soften the blow” of delivering criticism, but doing so will only weaken both and may confuse the employee.

5 Tips for Offering Positive Feedback:

  1. Write down the actions and behaviors you see in employees and teams that contribute to good performance.

  2. Detail the behaviors and actions you want to reinforce. Be specific not only about what the employee did, but why it is important.

  3. Tie positive feedbackto business results, such as customer or client satisfaction, increased revenues or repeat business.

  4. Understand the difference between recognition and positive feedback. Recognition lets employees and others know they are doing a good job, while feedback informs them about what they did that works.

  5. Separate delivering positive feedback from constructive criticism.

Positive feedback is about motivating employees to do the things that help a business to grow and thrive. When you do it right and do it regularly, you will reinforce the business-building behaviors you want to see in your individual employees and build morale and positive feelings for your teams.

About Amy: Amy Fox is President, CEO and founder of Accelerated Business Results, a leader in innovative business learning solutions, and a consultant to Fortune 500 companies on training and sales performance strategies. Amy and her team are driven to meet the diverse training needs of today’s organizations, from increased sales performance and product knowledge to leadership, communication and coaching skills. For more information, visit e

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


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