Positive feedback and praise are big drivers of engagement. Gallup, an authority on climate and culture, identified that one of the top twelve drivers of engagement in a professional environment is having received some type of recognition in the last seven days of work.
However, few companies do a good job of providing tools (training, platform, incentive programs) for their employees to exchange positive feedback (praise) in a constructive way.
In this material, we will present on the importance of positive feedback for the company, the difference between feedback, recognition and praise, and also explain how positive feedback is deeply linked to innovation in a company. Read on and learn more!
Positive feedback, praise, and recognition: what is the difference?
Positive feedback, praise and recognition can be the same thing if they are designed with quality. At Qulture.Rocks, quality in positive feedback means:
- give context;
- be specific;
- linking feedback to behaviors and strategic objectives (such as culture values and company goals).
We call this type of positive feedback "strategic recognition," that is, recognition that reinforces desired and strategic behaviors for the organization.
A nuance of positive feedback is that it can be private or public. Ideally, public positive feedback is very useful because it raises the self-esteem of the employee who is receiving it and, more importantly, educates other employees about the right and expected behaviors within the organization.
How important is positive feedback for a company?
Let's understand the importance of positive feedback for a company. Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, states that "we all like to be praised. So what we practice in the company is to look for behaviors that we can praise. Look for things that are working. We want our people to know when they are doing a great job, and to know that they are important to us”.
Some statistics about positive feedback
We should take into account some important studies about recognition, proving the necessity of positive feedback for teams:
- appreciation and recognition are the top driver of "happiness at work" (BCG, 2014);
- recognition is consistently identified as a top driver of engagement (Aon Hewitt, 2012);
- 65% of Americans state they were not recognized for good work during 2011 (Bersin, 2012);
- 33% of Americans state they have not been recognized for a good job in the past seven days (Gallup, 2016);
- 44% of working people state that when they receive a tool in which they can offer feedback, they are more likely to give recognition recurrently (TINYpulse, 2014);
- 43% of the most engaged working people in a company receive feedback about their demands at least once a week (HubSpot, 2017);
- 37% of professionals say that greater recognition could encourage their productivity (GPTW, 2023).
The relationship between positive feedback and innovation
In addition to generating engagement, motivation, and reinforcing a high-performance culture, positive feedback generates psychological safety. This means ensuring that the employee is in an environment (whether it is the company, a team, or a department) in which it is emotionally "safe" to fail and make mistakes. In other words, it is to feel the reassurance that an eventual mistake resulting from taking a risk is not synonymous with stress and anxiety.
In a New York Times article that dealt with the issue of psychological safety at Google, the newspaper described a project of the Google People Innovation Lab that, inspired by the academic literature on the subject, sought to identify factors correlated with the so-called psychological safety in the company's teams. The result? Teams in which praises are exchanged freely and openly had significantly higher psychological security than the others.
In this context, we can dare to say that a work environment where positive feedback is freely exchanged encourages innovation and calculated risk-taking with new ideas, projects, and opinions.
When to give positive feedback?
There are some moments that can be considered to give some positive feedback. Among them, we highlight some main topics. Check them out!
The moment to which the feedback refers
Positive feedback can be targeted at some specific moment, such as:
- meetings: if the person stood out at some point during the meeting, with relevant and grounded opinions;
- presentation: if the person made a presentation and caught the listeners' attention, with relevant data and information, making that moment positive for everyone on the team;
- project: if someone stood out in the execution of a certain project and he or she managed to bring changes to the company's and the team's routine;
- day to day: if there was some attitude considered positive in the team's routine, it is also worth highlighting to reinforce the need for these small acts.
The topic to which the feedback refers
Positive feedback can also be directed to some topics, such as:
- adequate communication aligned to the organizational values;
- the impact that a certain activity or strategy had on the team;
- acting according to the company's values, which brought important effects to the organization;
- people management, directed especially to the leading people who showed outstanding performance in their functions;
- data analysis that contributed to more effective decision making;
- deliveries that were well executed and within the expectations previously aligned, among others.
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How to give positive feedback?
Once we understand the importance of positive feedback and what are the best moments to offer it, let's move on to how it should be done? Below, we'll show you a step-by-step approach to succeed with the feedback you want to give!
- 1) Choose the channel in which feedback will be given. Remember that offering it in public not only encourages colleagues to do the same, but also reinforces the company's values to the team
- 2) Be specific. Always praise with a clear context and by giving examples.
- 3) Add one or more of your company's values to the feedback and show how the praise is aligned with the organization's valued behaviors;
- 4) Talk about outcomes and say what the impact of the praised action was.
How to receive positive feedback?
Many people don't know how to receive positive feedback: either they don't reflect on the praise and its implications, or they simply minimize it as unimportant. We all remember responding "it was nothing" to a compliment, don't we? But knowing how to receive positive feedback is important to develop yourself professionally.
- 1) It is important to drop the "oh, no big deal" and adopt "thank you" as a rule. Take the compliment, be happy and proud that you are doing something so well that it attracts recognition;
- 2) Learn from the positive feedback. Ask open-ended questions that extract as much information as possible from the praiser. Ask the whys, and the impact of your behavior on the person's and the group's work.
- 3) It is important to use the positive feedback you receive over time for self-knowledge purposes: most likely, the recurring themes in the praises are your strengths, which can be cultivated to achieve your full professional potential.
How about some examples of positive feedback for inspiration?
To make the subject even more tangible, we will bring you some examples of positive feedbacks to inspire you and use with colleagues in the company. Let's go!
Presentation at a meeting
"[NAME], I would like to congratulate you on the great presentation you gave at the last weekly team meeting. Besides the ideas, which clearly inspired everyone on the team, you also spoke in a confident and spontaneous manner. I believe that we all came out of it with new and useful information for the daily demands. Perceived values: #BeACofounder #GrowAndMakeGrow #EnergizeTheOrganization"
Obs.: “#BeACofounder #GrowAndMakeGrow #EnergizeTheOrganization” are some examples of Qulture.Rocks' values!
Participation in a meeting
"[NAME], your participation in the squad meeting earlier this week was spectacular! You showed a lot of knowledge about the project and added a lot to the team with your insights. This helps us to have inputs so that the team as a whole acts in a truly multidisciplinary and integrated way. Perceived values: #BeACofounder #ThinkAndCommunicateClearly”
"Hello, [NAME]! From what I've seen of your innovation project, I noticed that it not only added a lot to the company's deliveries, but also optimized processes and reduced bottlenecks and bureaucracy. Also, you conducted it in a very efficient way in order to deliver on time. Congratulations! #BeACofounder #BeCustomerObsessive"
Good results in the cycle
"[NAME], I noticed that in this cycle that has just ended, you have assumed new projects, sought knowledge outside your comfort zone, and exceeded the established goal by 120%. Thus, your growth and development throughout this period is evident, and with the challenges ahead of us, this tends to be even better. Congratulations, and let's go for it! #BeACofounder #GrowAndMakeGrow"
"[NAME], it's amazing how you are always trying to get closer to your teammates, whether it's to help with demands, to learn new things, or even for relaxing moments (like lunches and happy hours). This contributes a lot to a more engaging and harmonious climate in the team. Keep it up! #EnergizeTheOrganization"
What is the role of the leader for a feedback culture?
The leader's role is to ensure that the led identifies their strengths, reflects on whether the strengths overlap with their passions at work, and if so, that they serve as a direction for the employee to invest their time and effort in the area.
By developing an action plan focused on strengths, the leader helps his subordinate work smarter, maximizing his potential rather than "rowing against the tide" of his areas of difficulty.
On the other hand, the manager must be careful that positive feedback is not buried under a sandwich feedback (in which improvement feedback is packaged by praise). If the use of the sandwich is abused, the receiver of the praise will barely hear the acknowledgement in eager anticipation of the "bomb" to come. Therefore, separate positive feedback from negative feedback so each one serves its full potential.
How does a Performance Management Platform contribute to a feedback culture?
As we have discussed, positive feedback should ideally be public. In this sense, a performance management platform will contribute significantly to the company. Here are some of its benefits!
Likes and comments in praises
In a tool, which format is similar to a social network, managers open opportunities for the work force of employees to be recognized and have great reach within the company, and engage them to celebrate achievements in a natural, simple, and genuine way.
Sending praises to entire teams
In addition, there is the possibility to send praise to entire teams. Constantly, teams celebrate achievements in the development of new ideas or improvement of services and solutions. For this to become a constant practice in the company and generate a competitive differential, the tool allows compliments to be sent to two or more people.
Reinforcement of company values
As we mentioned, good feedback is feedback that reinforces the organization's values. On the platform, there is the opportunity to select and relate to the feedback which values are being practiced, so that it spreads the principles of the culture in each praise sent.
In this content, you were able to understand the difference between positive feedback, praise and recognition, the importance of positive feedback, how to give and receive it, and what are the components of good feedback. By adopting this practice continuously in your business, besides stimulating innovation, it contributes to a good organizational climate, increasing talent retention and generating a competitive differential.
Well, in face of such an important theme, the fact is that a feedback tool can greatly help to implement and maintain this type of culture. Remember the fact that 44% of professionals would give feedback more often if they had a tool for this?
If you want to know more about how our Feedback platform can help your company, contact us and clear your doubts!