How to Encourage Your Employees: 5 Ways to Give Your Team Positive Feedback

Learn how to give your employees encouragement by motivating your team.

As leaders, we’re accustomed to evaluating our teams. Many times, it’s necessary for us to share our concerns, criticisms and advice with our employees. However, we may forget to share our feedback when they’re doing a great job and things are going well.

We may wrongly assume that our teams know they are valued and that we appreciate them. Then, when we address the negatives, it can be easy for them to feel unappreciated or like they’re only seen when they do something wrong. It’s crucial that we take time to verbally share our appreciation and encouragement on a regular basis, but how?

Here are five ways to give your employees encouragement.

1. Share positive feedback with criticism.

There are times when you need to have difficult conversations with your employees. You may need to share constructive criticisms, make corrections or discuss a challenging situation. These are great opportunities to come alongside your employees with encouragement. 

Take advantage of these moments to encourage and affirm your team members. Be sure to call out their positive qualities, appreciate their hard work and affirm how valuable they are to you and your organization. Doing so will help start the healing process and allow your team members to continue growing under your leadership.

2. Recognize someone each meeting.

When looking for times to give your employees encouragement, it’s best to start by taking advantage of the opportunities you already have, like team meetings.

Make it a practice each meeting to recognize someone for their hard work. Openly thank them in front of the team for their recent work and acknowledge what makes them a great, dedicated team member. Rotate through your team members until everyone has been recognized – then keep going! Creating an environment of gratitude where everyone feels appreciated will help your team feel supported and encourage them to do the same with each other.

3. Affirm your team in the moment.

As you start being intentional about encouraging your employees, it’s important that you stay aware and in the moment. 

Practice looking for opportunities to share encouragement throughout the day, like when one of your employees does something well, finishes a large assignment or puts a lot of effort into a project. Be sure to stop and thank them in the moment and recognize their efforts – but don’t let that stop you from thanking them or encouraging them again later on as you talk with them or have your team meetings.

4. Regularly meet one-on-one.

If you haven’t already, get into the habit of meeting with your employees individually on a regular basis – even if it’s just for a few minutes in your office or over a cup of coffee.

One-on-one meetings will give you more time to call out their great qualities, thank them for their hard work and affirm all they’ve been doing. Openly acknowledge their strengths, what they bring to your team and how you’ve seen them grow. Share what you appreciate about them and their hard work, then ask what you can do to help. Taking time to encourage each of your employees is a great way to help them feel valued and seen, and will help them continue to thrive in your organization.

5. Offer encouragement when things go wrong.

When things don’t go according to plan, it can be easy to get stuck on the negatives or what went wrong. You may be upset that things went poorly and be frustrated with your employees, even if it was out of their control. 

Instead, remember to call out the best in people, even when things don’t work out. Thank them for their hard work and commitment despite the outcome. Be intentional about affirming what they did well and acknowledge how well they handled the situation. By doing so, you will help your team pave the way forward, and feel more confident and supported when difficult situations arise in the future.

Supporting your team starts with small, intentional steps. Make it a priority to affirm and encourage your employees throughout the week. Add reminders to your calendar, schedule it into your meetings and take a few minutes each day to affirm one of your team members. Regularly giving positive feedback will help your employees feel supported and allow you to create a better, more unified team.