An important part of a leader’s job is empowering others. Your goal is to have employees that are, for the most part, self-sufficient. You are, of course, there to help them as needed, but the key to having great employees is having empowered employees. Offering positive feedback is an important part of the process.
#1: Focus on behaviors, not accomplishments. Instead of offering “Great job” accolades, focus on the behavior that you like, “I like your perseverance.” This is a great way to ensure that you see more of this behavior from the employee in the future.
#2: Be specific. Let them know exactly what they did right so they get a clear picture of what you expect. Instead of something vague “I like what you did in this report,” offer up the details on what you liked specifically, “I like how you how you used diagrams to visually support your findings.”
#3: Do it immediately. If you see an employee doing something right, let them know this immediately. Catching them in the moment allows you to be more specific and it gives the employee an immediate boost. Why wait until your next scheduled meeting when you can catch them in the act of great behavior?