From my experience, most managers struggle to provide feedback and that is both the positive kind as well as the constructive type of feedback. Now when I say positive feedback, most managers say but I do thank my staff every day, and while that is important, unless the feedback provided is specific (about the thing you saw them say or do) and timely (just after it’s happened), then it will just give the team member a nice warm feeling.
Catching your team doing something right is very powerful and shows them you actually care about them. This is so powerful in having an engaged and motivated team, yet it is done so infrequently. Every person on the planet loves to receive positive feedback and the many benefits are certainly worthwhile ensuring you focus on this more often. And the even better news, it takes as little as 6 seconds, yet the impact is powerful.
However, you can’t just focus on providing positive feedback if there are things that aren’t being done correctly. You will be waiting a long time to try and catch them doing it right and it sends the wrong message if you don’t deal with these off target issues straight away.
Often this is where managers struggle to give feedback as they don’t know how, they are afraid of pushback and even worse they don’t even notice their team aren’t doing the right thing. This is where we train managers how to evaluate and provide improvement feedback, which deals with the issue but leaves the team member feeling ok and wanting to change their behaviour.
Contrast that to the type of feedback that leaves the team member feeling picked on, defensive and hurt. This is what happens if the constructive feedback feels to the team member that you are attacking them. Worse still, according to Gallup, if a team member is left feeling negative after receiving feedback, only 10% still feel engaged and 80% say they are actively or passively looking for a new job.
On the other hand, workers whose manager’s feedback left them with positive feelings (felt inspired to improve or positive about knowing how to do their work better) are 3.9 times more likely to be engaged than employees who felt hurt, and only 3.6% of them are actively looking for another job.
So feedback, be it either positive or improvement feedback is critical, if you want your team to feel more motivated and engaged. And in today’s tough retail market, having the right team, fully engaged and customer focussed is essential to fight off 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.