Management and Leadership Series Posted by Nicola Maxwell

In today’s dynamic and fast-paced world, positive feedback isn’t just a nice to have.  It’s an essential ingredient to optimise individual and team performance.

An insightful piece of research in this area was carried out by Barbara Fredrickson who concluded that “people who have positive emotions in a ratio of 3:1 in relation to negative emotions are more likely to flourish”.

Why does this matter?

It matters because giving positive feedback can have an incredible impact on the people you work with; whether as a manager or a colleague.

Fredrickson made the connection that stimulating people’s positive emotions can help them to see new possibilities, bounce back more quickly from setbacks and connect with others.  Giving positive feedback is one of the simplest ways to stimulate those positive emotions.  It also has an accumulative effect; so the more consistently it happens, the more it refuels our emotional tank.

By giving positive feedback you are enhancing someone’s wellbeing and resilience so that when they encounter challenges along the way they’re less likely to become restrained by them and instead will recover and look for solutions more quickly.

Positive feedback is also a key factor in triggering individual motivation.  A recent study from the CIPD found that one of the top 3 reasons people gave for leaving their organisation was that they didn’t feel appreciated for the work they did.  Many managers are blissfully unaware that their employees are seeking praise and recognition for putting in that extra effort.  It seems that taking their discretionary effort for granted could seriously backfire.

People obviously want to be told when they’re doing a good job.  If they’re not, they very quickly start to question how valued they really are.  People will very quickly move on if they don’t feel they’re getting what they need from their employer.  To hold on to your best people, look for opportunities to give them the positive feedback they are seeking.

Of course it’s not just managers who can pay more attention to how they praise others.  In high performing teams it is commonplace for colleagues to give positive feedback to each other.  A culture of continuous open feedback is promoted which leads to higher levels of self-awareness and a stronger focus on developing strengths to achieve excellence.

Think for a moment – what could you do to spread a little more positivity around your team today?

< Back to edoBuzz