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Over the last several years, we’ve seen the emergence of trends like quiet quitting and heightened turnover. These trends are largely underpinned by one common fact – 49% of workers don’t feel highly satisfied by their jobs.

How can you make sure that your team doesn’t join that number? By ensuring that consistent and effective positive feedback is a regular part of your managerial strategy. Delivering positive feedback is an excellent way to encourage your colleagues and reduce employee turnover. Here are five ways to provide positive feedback and help your employees.

1. Be Detailed with Feedback

The first step in delivering positive feedback is to make it as specific as possible. While appreciating good work is helpful, it’s more impactful, both to your employee’s immediate morale and to their future performance, to include specific details why their action was good and how their output positively impacts the team or organization.

Compare these two pieces of positive feedback:

“Great job on this project!”


“Great job on the way that you stepped up to the plate on this project! The way you were proactive in gathering those member engagement metrics was super helpful and allowed us to finish this project ahead of time”. 

Which would you rather hear? Likely the second one, right? Partially because it more accurately acknowledges the work that you put in, but also because it gives you an idea of how to earn this type of recognition again. Giving this type of specificity in your positive feedback enables you team members to continue to perform at high levels both by boosting their morale and by laying out a clear set of directions on how they can be successful at similar tasks in the future.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Retaining Talent Learn More >

2. Give Positive Feedback on a Frequent and Regular Basis

Your colleagues do great work throughout the year — not just when it’s time for their annual raise. But how frequently do you give your team members or employees positive feedback?

While many employees report receiving most of their feedback on a yearly basis during formal assessments, that’s not necessarily the schedule they find most useful. Instead, research shows that 60% of workers want feedback either daily or weekly. This number rises to 72% for younger employees.

By delivering feedback on a daily or weekly basis, you create more opportunities for your employees to adjust their behaviors, strategies, and goals. These frequent check-ins also help to build a more positive, engaging, and empathetic workplace – all hallmarks of a workplace with low turnover.

3. Reward Hard Work

While verbally showing gratitude for exemplary performance is a great start to your positive feedback routine, employees love something a little more tangible, with 60% of employees reporting feeling more valued when their employer gives them gifts. If an employee has displayed excellent work, demonstrate your appreciation through a gift – or, if possible and appropriate, a bonus or raise.

For example, your team member agreed to work late this week in order to help with after-hours website edits. Their hard work and flexibility have positively affected your organization, and it would be appropriate and welcome to ensure their efforts don’t go unnoticed by pairing your positive feedback with a gift like an UberEats gift card or movie tickets for them and their family.

However, with only 34% of workers reporting feeling satisfied with how much they are paid, you’ll want to be careful that an occasional gift of appreciation does not take the place of fair compensation. If you are repeatedly finding yourself praising a team member for taking on more than their own responsibilities or going above and beyond, it’s time to consider a raise. Remember, more responsibility without more compensation is not a reward.

Related: Are Your Perks Hiding a Bad Culture? Learn More >

4. Be Considerate About How You Deliver Feedback

While positive feedback is typically seen as a welcome contribution, it’s essential to consider what method of delivery would be most meaningful and helpful to your team members. And remember, your team is made up of diverse personalities – it’s not going to be a one-method-fits-all approach.

Some workers don’t mind a public conversation about their work, while others prefer a private session. You may have an employee who prefers no in-person assessments at all. Reduce employee turnover by opening the floor to communication and letting them pick their feedback method so they feel as comfortable as possible. Even positive feedback can give employees an unwanted spotlight, so individualize your approach to feedback starting with the first meeting.

The rise of remote work presents situations in which in-person delivery might not be possible. With about one-third of employed Americans doing some or all of their work from home, it’s increasingly essential to build out new methods of supporting your remote employees. Set up video conferences or phone calls to deliver positive feedback. This mechanism makes your commentary more valuable because you’re taking time to chat with them.

5. Reward High Performance with Opportunities for Advancement or Promotion

If you find yourself repeatedly rewarding an employee for stellar perfomance that goes above and beyond, chances are good that they are a member of 91% of workers who feel it’s important to them to have a job that consistently offers them opportunities for learning and growth. To reward this performance with opportunities for continued development of leadership and career skills, continue pairing your positive feedback with the following actions:

  • Encourage professional development.
  • Help your employee create a development plan.
  • Offer to pair your employee with a mentor.
  • Help them to build their network.
  • Provide your employee with challenging “stretch” assignments.

Employees enjoy improving at work and adding more value to their company. Provide professional development opportunities to tell your employees you see their potential and want them to reach great heights. Upskilling is vital to reduce employee turnover in the workplace. LinkedIn research shows companies who teach skills on the job have a 7% higher retention rate than other organizations.

Related: The Real Cost of Ignoring Professional Development Learn More >

Reduce Employee Turnover with Positive Feedback

Retaining employees should be a focal point for associations, and this starts with maintaining employee morale and satisfaction. Positive feedback can be an essential piece of this effort, but it goes beyond offering a sporadic “job well done” every once and a while. Effective positive feedback is specific, consistent, considerate and may extend to meaningful financial compensation or skill development. By ensuring that your positive feedback structure takes these steps, you have the power to reduce employee turnover.  After all, it’s hard to beat the feeling of knowing that you are valued and appreciated for your work.

Post by Beth Rush
September 8, 2023