Positive feedback has a clear, constructive impact on employees. A Gallup survey showed that 67 percent of employees whose managers focused on their strengths were fully engaged in their work, compared to only 31 percent of workers whose managers focused on their weaknesses.

Despite the benefits of positive feedback, entrepreneur David Carpenter says that many managers don’t give it effectively. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Carpenter’s 10 effective tips for giving meaningful kudos to your team members.

1. Catch them in the act. As humans, we learn best when the reward (positive feedback) is given as soon as possible after the act has occurred, says Carpenter. Don’t save up praise to be given later. As the saying goes, if you see something, say something.

2. Personalize it. Make sure to give your feedback directly to your team member. Take into account their personality. Most people are okay with receiving positive feedback publicly, but not everyone, so it’s important to know your colleagues well and proceed accordingly, Carpenter notes. He adds that negative feedback should always be given in private.

3. Be specific. Don’t just say “good job” and consider it done. According to Carpenter, if you’re not specific in your feedback, then employees or coworkers can be unclear on what behaviors to continue. Saying, “Great job on your presentation to the client; you really nailed that sale” doesn’t give much information. Consider saying, “Great job on your presentation; I know that they aren’t the easiest clients. But you came in prepared and kept your cool in the negotiations. That’s what saved the sale.”

4. Be sincere. Just like everyone else, your colleagues can smell insincerity a mile away. So, if you don’t mean it, don’t say it, says Carpenter.

5. Be forward-looking. The goal of positive feedback should be to improve a person’s performance in the future. Carpenter says use your feedback to praise those behaviors that you would like to see repeated.

6. Tie it to a business or professional goal. “If you go into all your sales meetings as well prepared as you did this one, you’re going to be one of our top salespeople.” Carpenter says this statement is effective because it acknowledges the benefit to both the company and the salesperson.

7. Make sure your feedback is actionable. Focus on the specific behaviors that you want to encourage. Using overly generalized statements can cause more confusion and is generally not helpful, notes Carpenter. Identifying positive behaviors gives your colleague a clear road map of how to act moving forward.

8. Forget the “but.” Don’t try to mix in negative feedback as it will only serve to stymie any benefits from the positive feedback. Besides, everyone should have their day in the sun, says Carpenter.

9. Focus on effort or behavior. According to Carpenter, when you focus on a person’s behavior instead of on a trait or talent, you encourage them to develop a growth mindset. This is a critical component of both personal and organizational success.

10. Frame it in a bigger context. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, especially if they are a part of a team. By framing your positive feedback in a larger context, you’ve given them a sense importance beyond that of being just a cog in the wheel, says Carpenter.

Positive feedback is always welcome. Whether a team member goes above and beyond, or a sales rep overcomes a major hurdle, take time to acknowledge them. When you consider the 10 tips above, you can go beyond the generic “good job” and provide positive feedback that sticks.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: David Carpenter is the owner of OnlineBizFacts.com. A lifelong entrepreneur, Carpenter is skilled in negotiation, customer service, sales, entrepreneurship and strategic planning