Feedback can’t ever be negative if you know how to present it in the right way. Each employee achieves something, while facing troubles in some areas of his or her work.

Feedback should help employees positively acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses. That is what positive feedback means.

With a few efforts, you can give positive and meaningful feedback to your employees.

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1. Go beyond “Great Job”

When an employee spends hours and hours working on a presentation, you can’t motivate just by saying a Great Job. 

It does convey that you liked the work. But you need more words to encourage that same employee to keep working with the same determination.

Adding details to your feedback and becoming specific increase the value of your feedback. You can say-

Your competitor evaluation in the presentation was exactly what we wanted to clarify our point. Amazing work!

If you see, detailing your feedback it not about saying more stuff. It is about becoming specific with what you want to convey. This clarifies the confusions in the mind of your employee. He or she will know what you expect in the future as well.

Simply saying “You did a great job” won’t tell an employee what he or she has done right. You need to clarify what you liked and which areas require more work.

2. Create a comfortable environment

Positive feedback can have some point, in which, an employee has to work on. To positively represent your feedback, you need to create a comfortable environment first.

No need to publicly advertise a feedback ever. Feedback should be a private, one-on-one conversation between you and your employee.

A one-on-one conversation gives more meaning to your praises and criticism. You create a calm and relaxed environment where your employee can think about everything you say right at that moment.

This conveys your support to employees in growing their skills and abilities.

Even praising in private is better than advertising it. Many people don’t want to stand in the spotlight. They simply want to do their work right.

Such people want you to give your feedbacks personally in a one-on-one communication setting. However, you can judge the needs of your employee and praise some of them in front of others.

3. Merge three strengths with three concerns

You or your managers can work on creating balanced feedback with three strengths and three concerns. The strengths should contain the accomplishments of an employee, while the concerns should include areas where that employee can grow.

The strengths motivate and encourage an employee to work on the concerns and improve consistently. At the same time, the strengths also tell how to do things correctly in future. It is as if you offer a list of “what to do” and “what not to do” with your feedback.

This way, you offer positive feedback to each employee without putting too much pressure on them. Your praise makes them value your suggestions regarding the scope of improvement. So, they put more effort into improving their capabilities.

4. Give it a positive ending

The key to positive feedback is to encourage employees. For that, each employee should leave your office with a smile on his or her face.

You should end every feedback with a positive comment. Present all the scope of improvements in the beginning. Use your second half of the conversation to describe how an employee has impressed you.

Your closing comments should convey that you appreciate your employee’s contribution to the growth of the organization. Put positive thoughts into words and let each employee know how much you appreciate his or her presence in the company.

Your employee will leave your office with a positive thought and motivated mindset. This feeling will stay fresh in their mind even if the words get blurred after a few months.

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5. Talk about performance, not someone’s personality

When constructing statements of your feedback, make sure you don’t judge the personality of an employee. You need to comment on how they perform instead of attacking their personality characteristics.

So, instead of saying- “Your arrogance has become a problem.”

Try saying- “When you oppose my ideas during client meetings, it sends a wrong message.”

Remember that you are not there to attack your employees. You want to help them improve their capabilities in a positive way. So, don’t target their hearts, try to appeal to their minds with your feedback.

6. Give a purpose to your employee

Your feedbacks should have a forward-moving tone. It should inspire an employee to work better and improve regularly.

Which is why you need to outline your feedback with clear objectives. Sit with your managers to describe a few objectives for each employee. Then, shape those objectives in positive statements.

Convey your feedback as an outline for the future. This saves employees from regretting about what they have done wrong in the past. Their minds immediately go into an action mode. They feel they have a chance to make things right.

At the same time, you should clearly convey that all the possible support is available at the expense of the employee. Make sure each employee knows that you are there to guide and support in the process.

7. Link your feedback to an organizational impact

The strength of your feedback increases a thousand times when you align it with an organizational impact. Suppose an employee has delivered his end of work on-time for the last 6 months.

This surely has helped other departments performing better, which has increased the growth rate of the whole organization.

Simply saying that an employee is punctual with his deadlines is not effective enough. But when you describe the organizational impact of his support, it motivates him to keep working with the same determination.

To give such in-depth feedback, you first need to recognize organizational impacts of the behaviors and efforts of your employees.

Then, you can outline each individual characteristic in connection with a large organizational impact. It conveys to each employee how their small actions decide the fate of the company. So, they become more responsible.

8. Document and prepare your feedback approach in advance

The preparation of feedback should be an ongoing process for managers and higher authorities. It would be wise to keep developing performance reports consistently for each employee.

Create a list of positive assets each employee brings to the table. This way, you will know what to say when the time of giving feedback comes. Also, you can use the same reports to decide on appraisals and promotions.

Using the prepared reports, you can practice your feedback in advance. If you want, make a list of bullet points for each employee.

These bullet points can have every factor you want to talk about such as performance, achievements, job behavior, and others. This helps you choose the right words and cover everything to offer comprehensive feedback to each employee.

9. Choose the right time to give feedback

When you have some positive and constructive things to convey, find the right time. Giving positive feedback right after finishing a project or before the beginning of a project seems logical.

Your positive words further motivate your employees to improve their efforts.

Just after finishing a project successfully, you can offer your positive feedback to appreciate employees’ contributions. This allows each employee to know that their hard work has been noticed.

If you choose to give your feedbacks right before a project, your appreciative words can trigger the sense of improvement in employees. This allows each employee to use your feedback right away on a new project.

You can choose a time that suits the mindset of your employees.

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10. Make your feedback session interactive

Your feedback session should be as interactive as possible. It will allow employees to convey their work approach, performance capabilities and the challenges they face.

At the same time, you can learn more about the reasons why some employees succeed while others struggle to perform optimally. The interactive approach also leads to some ground level ideas and plans, which helps in improving the work system as a whole.

The interactive approach becomes easier to achieve when you outline your feedback in a positive tone. Even the concerns are presented as a scope of work, which allows employees to express their conflicts.

Along with all the mentioned tips, you should also try to be as direct as possible. Give your feedbacks personally without using a messenger or a communication channel.

Also, include observations instead of interpretations. If you can accomplish all of that, it will create a growth mindset in your whole organization.

Positive feedback to your employees is fuel to perform better in the coming future. Genuine praise and genuine concern are taken positively by everyone. You just need to choose the right words without judging an employee.

You can accomplish a lot with positive feedback. So, use the mentioned ideas to improve your ability to convey them.