Effect Of Positive Feedback On Employee Performance

It is arguably agreed upon by many mangers across the globe that performance appraisal is a fundamental and important management tool that an employer has at his/her disposal. Research has established that performance appraisal carried out properly and in good faith, help to fine tune and reward employees. There are two types of performance appraisal: negotiated performance appraisal and traditional performance appraisal (Carroll & Schneider, 2005). It is believed that performance appraisal validates and refines organizational actions in terms of selection and training; and it also provides feedback to employees with an aim of improving future employee performance. It is paramount that employees vary in their desire for integrating performance in the workplace; they have a general want to know how well they are performing. This paper seeks to discuss the effects of positive feedback on employee performance; citing theories on employee performance and giving their relevance and flaws.

Feedback is communication to a person or a team of people with regard to their behavior on the customer, organization, another person or a group of people. Positive feedback entails telling an employee(s) about good performance and this feedback should be timely, specific, frequent and consistent. It is believed that constructive feedback alerts an employee to an area in which his/her performance needs to improve. Constructive feedback is not criticism rather it is descriptive and it is always meant to be directed to the action not the person. The primary reason for constructive feedback is to help employees understand where they stand in relation to expected and/or productive job behavior. Recognition for effective performance is a significant employee motivator. It is true that most people crave positive recognition and thus this recognition fosters more of the appreciated actions.

Studies have shown that the attention by an organization coupled with increased expectations following the present opportunity can lead to a self-fulfilling policy of enhanced output by the employee. With regard to organizational behavior, employees who receive regular, scheduled feedback together with training, coupled with increased expectations always have a higher level of worker output (Shields, 2007). On a larger perspective, developing employees’ skills and abilities is an actual organizational mandate for employees to become better to themselves or to the firm at large.

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Positive feedback and employee development results into decreased operational costs. Employees who receive training in line with their individual or organizational goals and appreciated on good work done; it is significant that they will be more efficient in their duties. Positive feedback through training help employees to do their jobs better, grooming them to replace their supervisors. Most importantly employees who are invested to be trainers may be inclined to stay with the business thus reducing employee turnover.

Employee development combined positive feedback limits organization liability. It has been observed that certain jobs require training and certification for an employee to successfully execute the minimum requirement in relation to their job position. Positive feedback and training helps in limiting liability in case of human error, particularly on the part of these employees. It is therefore important that HR professionals to limit organizational liability by training employees and consistently providing positive feedback (Carroll & Schneider, 2005).

There are various change management theories that are attached to employee performance and positive feedback. It is argued that a good leader will always strengthen desirable employee behavior using positive responses to make the employee satisfied, feel good and valued for their efforts. Some of the theories put forward for positive responses include: positive reinforcement, reward and negative reinforcement. In addition, a good leader weakens undesirable employee behavior by using negative leadership responses and these include extinction and punishment.

Positive reinforcement theory demands that good managers/leaders will automatically discover the hidden powers of positive reinforcement (Williams, 2002). This theory is free to be used to almost any situation to motivate employees to stretch their performances and test their capabilities. Positive reinforcement is mainly about providing positive feedback to your employees. Regular provision of positive reinforcement demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about your employees’ performance; and providing regular informal feedback. When giving positive feedback you can either focus on performance or an individual.

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Positive reinforcement about performance entails using positive performance feedbacks like: thank you for completing the report on time, you have done a great job with that assignment, or that was a great customer service. Positive reinforcement about the person involves giving positive feedback about individual’s qualities and abilities like: you are good with numbers, you are resilient, and this is a great quality for sales person.

Positive reinforcement theory has the following pitfalls: if the reinforcement exceeds performance your efforts will not have an impact, it also demands that you be specific especially when motivating an employee who has been a poor performer but has improved, over praising may result into minimal output in the long run (Williams, 2002).

Reward theory is an easy form of positive feedback; a reward has a tangible positive benefit for the recipient. Managers and leaders who consider reward programs may use the following forms of rewards: financial rewards; gifts such as movie tickets, shopping vouchers; opportunity such as promotion, challenging assignments or development activities (Shields, 2007).

The reward theory has the following pitfalls: if managers select a model of providing frequent rewards, employees may view this as their entitlement which eventually reduces the motivational influence. Secondly, if managers offer large incentives like holidays, huge bonuses for top performing employees they risk these incentives to be viewed as political. And lastly, some leaders to be fair, may rotate the reward, this is regarded to be ineffective and will make the process of managing change harder for him.

Reward programs are highly adopted by many managers as compared to positive reinforcement programs. This is mainly due the simplicity and ease of implementation, no budget constraints, and it requires less change in leader behavior. In addition tangible reward is more intriguing as compared verbal appreciation. With regard to this, many employees will outstandingly increase their performance in pursuit of a reward at the end of it all (London, 2008).

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In conclusion, the key objectives of providing positive feedback includes validating selection and other management or cultural practices; helping employees comprehend and understanding that they are responsible and accountable for their performance; and lastly helps managers in making decision about pay and/or promotion (Williams, 2002). With regard to organizational behavior, employees who receive regular, scheduled feedback together with training, coupled with increased expectations always have a higher level of output. Positive reinforcement and Reward theories have been put forward to illustrate the magnitude of providing positive feedback on employee performance (London, 2008). These theories laud that providing positive feedback motivates employees and hence it is relevant in increasing employee efficiency and final output.

With regard to the above discussion it is therefore recommended that for employers to increase their employee productivity they must provide timely, consistent and frequent positive feedback on employee performance. This entails appreciating good performance by genuinely praising and rewarding the employees. In addition, employers should also foster training employees in the specific field that they want them to improve performance.

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