Feedback to Boost Motivation

The young carry-out boy was asked, “How long have you been working here?” He replied, “Ever since they threatened to fire me.”

One of the best things you can do as a manager to boost motivation is to provide feedback.  If you don’t get clear feedback, you aren’t going to be motivated.  There is a hierarchy of feedback.  It is positive, negative and none.  The worst form of feedback is none.  This is like the manager who says, “If you don’t hear from me, everything is going great.”  And then one day, he shows up at your office.  You automatically wonder what you have done wrong.  No feedback is always perceived as negative.  “Negative” feedback is even better than no feedback.  At least when someone receives negative feedback, they know that someone cares enough to communicate.

The best and most motivational form of feedback is “positive.”  When someone receives positive feedback it lets them know what they should continue to do, because it was good and it got noticed.  Boundaries do have to be set.  Employees do need to understand what not to do or how not to do something.  By setting proper boundaries, you build in an opportunity to give positive feedback while mentoring and developing.  You set the employee up for success rather than waiting till the employee does something wrong and then dumping negative feedback on them.  If you don’t give positive feedback on continued, improved or outstanding performance then human behavior will resort to negative behavior in an effort to get some form of feedback.

What are your thoughts on delivering feedback?