b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Using Feedback to Motivate

2/02/2007

 

Using Feedback to Motivate

Entrepreneur magazine surveyed their readers to find out the most important issues on their brain for 2007 (January issue).

#1 on that list is retaining key workers (68%).

I think the masses are divided on the motivation issue. People are either on one side or the other; there doesn’t seem to be an in between. Motivation is what people have when they love their jobs. And guess what, it DOES affect a company’s bottom line when its employees love their job. The exact opposite can be said when they can’t stand it anymore and need to flee or run the risk of going postal.

What’s one thing you can do to help motivate your employees? Give feedback. This doesn’t mean you go out telling them what a horrible job they did and how could they be so stupid to make this mistake or whatever. If they goofed on something there’s right way and a wrong way to proceed. What I just told you is the wrong way. Likewise, if an employee did something particularly well then you need to let them know this too – because you want them to continue doing it!

Give feedback often; don’t wait for annual performance reviews to practice this. But before you dive head first into giving feedback, you need to know a few things. In Motivational Management by Alexander Hiam, the author explains that feedback works best when it meets the following criteria. It is:

Specific – so the employee can relate it to identifiable behaviors or actions.

Accurate – this leads to helpful insights, not confusion or anger.

Informative – gives insight into how to do things differently and better.

Controllable – relates to behaviors or actions the employee can change.

“Your goal should be to stimulate employees to improve their own judgment so they can monitor their own performances more effectively.”

Amen.

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