I have been told that I need to give my staff some positive feedback. I’m not great at that – seems gratuitous. I’m busy and get my tasks done, no one pats me on the back. Why should I do more than expect them to do their jobs?

Thoughts of the Day: Acknowledging contributions is a great way to build rapport. Start a dialogue with someone about what they’ve done well, in order to find out how they’re really doing. In an environment of tight budgets and limited pay increases, appreciation can help boost morale.

Relationships at work are very important to most people. We spend the majority of our time at work, and most of us would prefer that it’s pleasant, engaging, and enriching. The tone of the people around us can greatly impact, or disturb, our sense of well-being.

People who watch out for each other, and who look to the positive as they engage in a variety of tasks, are more likely to make constructive contributions and have energy and strength to pursue their goals. When people are open to opportunities they are more prepared to look for solutions and more likely to turn around problems. Encouraging that positive attitude is one of the smartest things any business owner or manager can do.Employee motivation

A great way to get insight on how someone really feels about the situation, the job, the challenge they’re facing, is to anchor them on some positive result. Give an employee a specific compliment, recognizing something that was accomplished, noting enough details to make the compliment meaningful. Let someone know you’re willing to observe the good in what they are working on, and he or she will feel more comfortable sharing concerns or questions.

If you need to provide critical feedback, use acknowledgement as a tool to start the dialog. Weave in any concerns or questions you may have, once the conversation gets rolling. Ask that person to consider why they seem to do well with some tasks, and how that might be applied to other situations. Wrap up with encouragement by noting that successes are building blocks that can lead from one achievement to another.

A 2015 survey of a national business organization reported overall employee satisfaction at 45%, lower than that for employees under 25 years old. These are cautionary statistics that any smart business owner or manager would be wise to consider.

quality control

Engaging with people by nurturing positive relationships contributes to a successful organization. Focus on how employees feel about where they work. Use acknowledgements to boost retention, reduce turnover costs, improve productivity, all of which deliver bottom line dividends.

Employees will learn by example. A compliment sent their way will likely turn into a compliment passed on to another staff member. The ultimate in engaging with employees is mentoring. Get people on track for future success by asking someone who has “been there, done that” to encourage the next person to take productive risks as they learn to step up. Mentoring through positive feedback is the ultimate education tool for someone who’s ready to take on the next challenge.

 The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace
by S. Chris Edmonds.