Positive feedback: 7 key advantages

The practice of positive feedback is not yet ingrained in everyone's habits. What are the obstacles and levers to making it a key element of corporate culture?
Positive Feedback: the 7 advantages of a mobilizing practice
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"Fail fast, fail often".

Translation: "Make mistakes fast, make mistakes often". This is the mantra of the Agile method, whose underlying message is: the faster you make mistakes, the more you progress.

This means taking action and finding out the results. In order to obtain... observations and comments. A mirror effect that allows us to iterate, advance and develop! Despite the difficulties of implementation, we're going to take a look at all these advantages.

What is positive feedback?

Positive feedback in business involves communicating constructive and encouraging feedback to one or more individuals. The end result is to reinforce the team's actions and performance; however, it must be based on an authenticity and spontaneity that give it its full value.

To achieve this, the appraisal must recognize the successes and skills deployed in a specific and detailed way, and anchor them in everyday life. Genuine, frequent positive feedback can come from supervisors, peers or top-down appraisals, helping to forge a natural culture of healthy interaction between company resources. Undoubtedly, this aptitude is one of the skills managerial skills that contribute most to the commitment of each individual.

What are the obstacles to implementing a feedback culture?

There are many obstacles to establishing a feedback culture. While its use can be a driving force within a company, it is not always easy to implement. Mistrust, fear of judgment and imposture are never far away. Accepting feedback also means taking the risk of confrontation. With all its negative emotions: frustration, anger, shame.

Kantar's 2019 "Observatoire du Management" study shows, among other things, that managers' perception of their ability to provide feedback is far removed from the evaluation of their own teams : 

87% of managers think they give good feedback, while only 47% of their teams feel the same.

Numerous Anglo-Saxon and French companies such as Renault Group, Société Générale, Veolia Eau, Michelin, Leroy Merlin and Decathlon use feedback as a lever for improving their performance appraisal process. This approach has produced astonishing results in terms of team empowerment.

While there are several types of feedback, this article looks at the most constructive way of giving it.

The 7 benefits of positive feedback

Positive feedback is a powerful driver of learning

Positive feedback means "sending something positive back". It works like a mirror.

Properly formulated, it enables the person you're talking to to become aware of his or her behavior, be it words or actions. For it is thanks to the open, constructive gaze of the person giving feedback that we can access "that part of ourselves that is unknown but known to the other person", as the Johari window principle in coaching emphasizes.

After positive feedback, we leave better equipped, aware of our strengths and areas for improvement, and highly motivated to continue learning and growing.

Positive feedback generates recognition

How does recognition materialize in the workplace?

Recognition is a powerful catalyst for engagement, strengthening employees' emotional connection to their work and the organization. It can take many forms, from verbal praise to formal rewards.

The only catch is: 

42% of employees do not feel recognized by their managers.

These are the findings of the 11th Quality of Working Life Barometer published by Malakoff Médéric Humanis.

Well-formulated positive feedback will enhance and reinforce the qualities and skills of each individual.

Positive feedback can be learned

While we all like to receive praise, knowing how to give it is another matter.

Firstly, because many managers have difficulty (or are reluctant?) to give positive feedback. Modesty, the belief that weaknesses need to be emphasized in order to progress, the fear of giving too much importance to others... The reasons are many and varied.

Secondly, even if you want to give your employees more encouraging feedback, it's not enough to know how to compliment them.

The art of feedback has to be learned. First of all, you need to concentrate on observing the facts, but you also need to select an appropriate moment and a private place, so as to respect confidentiality. Some supervisors give a compliment and systematically lead to a suggestion for improvement, so that the employee knows in advance that this feedback is the means of conveying a message of wishes for improvement. We therefore recommend distinguishing between these 2 managerial acts.

What qualities do you need to give positive feedback?

The qualities and postures required are :

  • Active listening ;
  • An empathetic and caring attitude;
  • Emotional intelligence.
  • skills essential in Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

Today, the skills deficit in this good managerial practice has been established: managers must therefore be trained using all the new development opportunities available. 

Positive feedback is effective (if well formulated)

Managers are also required to pass on criticism, so as not to undermine team cohesion

  • Precision for greater efficiency
  • Position the individual in the interlocutor's shoes (Pull vs. Push feedback system)

When a team member is running late, for example, you can say:

"Hello Pierre, we had an appointment at 2pm (factual). I notice that you arrived 20 minutes late. How would you react in my place? What solution can we find so that this doesn't happen again for you or for me?

  • Addressed directly and briefly in simple words

Example: "I'm delighted with your progress in data analysis! Your energy in developing this skill is paying off."

  • Remain factual to avoid becoming judgmental

Nobody likes to be judged on their own merits. For example, after a presentation, starting with "I observed that" rather than saying "you didn't mention" or "you forgot to..." allows you to challenge the person on concrete elements (of which they are often unaware) without pointing the finger.

Positive feedback must be regular

Giving positive feedback during an annual or individual appraisal is a good start, but it's not enough: it has to be anchored in day-to-day interactions.

Continuous positive feedback, the basis of positive reinforcement, gradually encourages the promotion of performance, its regularity will of course depend on the needs of each employee according to their skills, type of position and autonomy.

Encouraging regular feedback as an integral part of management practices at all levels of the company will put your teams in a positive dynamic and support leadership.

Everyone can ask for and give positive feedback

The question of positive feedback in an organization is traditionally approached from the top down: from the manager to the employees.

However, a manager can also ask for feedback from his or her team. The opportunities are numerous. For example, an introductory meeting can be a good time to ask for feedback on :

  • The added value of content ;
  • The quality of the speech;
  • The clarity of words.

The manager, who places himself in a dynamic of progress and on an equal footing with his employees in terms of learning, sets an example. They will strengthen their leadership with their team and foster a climate of mutual trust.

Positive feedback coupled with digital technology is an innovative performance driver

Why not try positive feedback 2.0? Positive feedback 2.0 is the combination of feedback culture and digital technology in the company to :

  • Reinventing talent management;
  • Promoting individual development ;
  • Generate performance.
  • Imagine the possibility of giving 360° feedback in a fluid and intuitive way thanks to a dedicated application accessible by everyone from their mobile?

Neobrain's "Performance and Engagement" solution enables you to continuously optimize exchanges and the circulation of information without waiting for the annual review:

  • Request, give and receive feedback in real time;
  • Access training modules ;
  • Choose feedback on development or goals ;
  • Capitalize on qualified HR data throughout the year.

Neobrain brings a new dimension to helping managers meet their new challenges .

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