Positive Feedback: Can You Feel the Love?

Posted: Feb 21, 2014
Views: 4211 - Comments: 6

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One of my biggest personal challenges as a manager is providing my team with consistent positive feedback to individuals.

DoveLewis lobby and CSR Jazz at the front desk

The moment I walk into hospital I am faced with the all the matters that need attention: issues with our fax program, call-outs for shifts, a missing chart, a negative online review, a budget overage… the list goes on, and all before noon. My role as manager is to clarify, support, refine and improve the performance of our team for the benefit of the hospital, and there's always something that needs clarifying or refining. My eyes and energy always go to the 15 things that need improvement and often when I'm finished it seems there's little time left over to offer my praise.

Our front desk team consistently does an amazing job and I don’t tell them that enough. We do have a CSR (Client Service Representative) appreciation week, usually around the same week as Administrative Professionals' Day, where we officially recognize the work of the team hospital-wide. And of course, we have yearly reviews for everyone which highlight each individual’s accomplishments. But day in and day out, I have the opportunity to make improvements with offering affirmative feedback. I suspect that many managers reply to employee communications on a “no news is good news” practice, but for 2014 I want to work on providing solid, positive feedback to my team as warranted because that consistency is also so valuable.

Just like with “negative” feedback, positive feedback should be timely, significant and relevant. Not a fluffy, empty pat on the back just for the sake of saying something "nice”. For a truly exceptional performance, give a gift like a cup of coffee, bottle of wine or even a lunch out together. Gifts are a great, memorable way to show appreciation for a job well done, along with the feedback. Now is the time. Spread the love to your team, or the employees you manage. Can they feel the love?



Megan Brashear's picture

So true Brian! This is challenging especially for working managers (as I said hello to you while you were working the front desk this morning!) but something to always keep in mind. I'll start with positive feedback to you: Great job - both on the blog and your work as a manager at DoveLewis!

Cheryl Latta's picture

I like this. It's so common to think you have been telling your staff the positive feedback, but when you actually ask them they say it's been a while since they've heard any. Just because you think you're doing it, doesn't mean you are! Great reminder!

Brian Stief's picture

Thanks Lisa, Cheryl & Megan for your positive thoughts. As with anything practice and planning is vital to start incorporating new habits into the routine.

Monique Pierpont's picture

The other side to this is my employees get prays regularly, not only from me but their team leaders and each other.
However, they rarely remember the praise. they only remember when they were spoken to about something negative.
We started giving out Good Job Bucks to remind them that we all think each other rocks.

Brian Stief's picture

Monique- the "Good Job Buck" is a great idea. We have a cork board called the Kudos board and little appreciation notes that members of the team can fill out and recognize each other for a job well done. It's is a great way for the team to share the love between each other in a quick and public way.