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