In my experience, many managers face challenges when it comes to providing feedback, whether it be positive or constructive. When discussing positive feedback, some managers argue, “But I thank my staff every day.” While expressing gratitude is important, it is crucial that the feedback given is specific (relating to a particular action or statement) and timely (provided immediately after the observed behaviour).
Recognising when your team is doing something right means a lot to team members and demonstrates your genuine care for them. Unfortunately, positive feedback is provided too infrequently, despite its ability to foster an engaged and motivated team. Positive feedback is loved by everyone, and its numerous benefits make it worth prioritising more frequently. Remarkably, it takes as little as 6 – 8 seconds to provide but it can make a huge impact.
However, focusing solely on positive feedback neglects instances where things may not be done correctly. Waiting indefinitely to catch them doing something right sends the wrong message and in fact may never happen. It is imperative to address off-target issues promptly. Many managers struggle with providing feedback in these cases—they may lack the know-how, fear pushback, or fail to notice their team members’ shortcomings. That’s where our tailored manager training comes in, teaching evaluation skills, and both positive and improvement feedback techniques that address issues while leaving the team member feeling supported and motivated to change their behaviour.
In contrast, feedback that leaves team members feeling attacked, defensive, or hurt is detrimental. According to Gallup, if constructive feedback leaves a team member feeling negative, only 10% remain engaged, and a staggering 80% actively or passively seek new job opportunities. On the other hand, employees whose managers’ feedback leaves them with positive feelings (inspired to improve or confident in their ability to perform better) are 3.9 times more likely to be engaged, with a mere 3.6% considering a job change.
Therefore, feedback—both positive and improvement-oriented—is crucial for fostering motivation and engagement within your team. In today’s challenging retail landscape, building a competent and customer-focused team that is fully engaged is essential to outperforming the competition.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.