Train Supervisors How to Provide Positive
Although the principles of
positive feedback are very simple, many supervisors would benefit greatly from
basic training on how to use the techniques. Here are a few of the basics.
The positive feedback should occur as soon as
possible after the behavior. Try to "catch people in the act" of doing good
things and praise them immediately.
The positive feedback should be of the proper
magnitude to match the behavior. For example, public acknowledgement after a
good point is made by an employee would be more appropriate than providing a
large spot cash bonus.
Behaviorists have shown that variable schedules of
reinforcement are more effective than continuous schedules. For example,
praising an employee periodically on an irregular basis is actually more
effective than praising that person every time they do something well.
One way to increase the
amount of positive reinforcement that occurs in an organization is to reinforce
the reinforcer. In other words, senior management should periodically reinforce
supervisors when they provide positive feedback to their direct reports.
Must Serve as Role Models
needs to start at the top. Senior management can set the tone by appropriately
praising and recogniizing their direct reports. Doing so on a consistent basis
will eventually spread the process throughout the organization.
Feedback Part of the Performance Review
Process What gets measured gets done. Supervisors
can be encouraged to provide positive feedback to their staff by making this
part of how their performance is evaluated by their supervisor.