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Positive Feedback: Definition & Examples

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Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara received her MBA from Adams State University and is currently working on her DBA from California Southern University. She spent 11 years as a sales and marketing executive. She spent several years with Western Governor's University as a faculty member. Tara has been at Study.com for seven years.

Positive feedback is the act of recognizing the good performance and contributions of employees. See several examples of positive feedback and the outcomes that the acknowledgement of a job well done can bring. Updated: 11/19/2021

What Is Positive Feedback?

Imagine working in a job where you never get a positive comment, a compliment, or are told you're doing a good job. Unfortunately, it's probably not too difficult to visualize this scenario because more often than not, employees aren't encouraged.

Now, imagine going to work and being told how impressive the work you did on a project was. Later in the day, you receive an email from a co-worker who thanks you for sharing some ideas that made his assignment easier than expected. Then, on your way out the door, you notice a certificate in your work mailbox. It's from the owner of the company who's honoring you for your willingness to serve on two different company committees.

When you compare these two situations, it's easy to see why positive feedback is critical to helping employees have high morale. Positive feedback is the action of acknowledging good performance, extra efforts, and the contribution made by an employee.

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  • 0:03 What Is Positive Feedback?
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Examples of Feedback

There are several ways positive feedback can be given to employees, including with formal reviews, after completing a project, after taking on additional responsibilities, and through general communication. Let's take a closer look at each of these.

When it comes to formal reviews, most companies have a specific review process, whether it is annually or more frequently. During these reviews, managers often discuss the employee's work and how well they were able to meet individual and organizational goals. Even if there are problems to be discussed, it's vital to offer positive feedback and tell the employee the things they're doing right. By offering complimentary comments for good areas of an employee's performance, they'll be more willing to work on the areas that aren't as successful. This will help clarify expectations and encourage them to perform at a higher level moving forward.

When a project or assignment is completed, it's a natural time to offer positive feedback to employees for their focus and dedication to complete the task. As with the formal review, offering encouraging words will inspire employees to push themselves and achieve greater results.

There are also often short-term or one-time activities that pop up that employees may need to add their regular workload. When an employee takes on additional responsibilities, a leader needs to be sure to thank and give positive kudos to the employee.

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