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13 November 2019
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The power of positive feedback

Keep up a good performance and every now and then your customers may report back – and that’s a tonic for the troops 


12 February 2015


One Friday recently was one of those days that put a spring in your step; we had two compliments paid to my team for their work. It is always satisfying to hear positive feedback.


Interestingly, the feedback was complimentary about doing the basics well – turning up on time, doing a good job, communicating well and being polite and courteous to the customer. A similar letter came in last week from a member of the public about our staff receptionist. 


Every time I receive positive feedback from customers I not only share it with the team, but also with our executive director. As well as proudly showing off our good work it is also nice for the FM workforce to see their efforts being acknowledged at the top of the organisation. There is no better means of motivation.


Although we strive for perfection, it is inevitable that we will get complaints from time to time. We can still make use of negative feedback, but in a constructive way. By doing so we can not only assure the customer that we have taken a complaint seriously, but also put corrective measures in place without demotivating the relevant staff member or team in the process. And, by using good feedback we have had as a shining example of how things can be done well, it is a great way of getting the right message across to ensure that lessons are learnt.


Positive feedback is a powerful management tool, especially in local government, where ways to incentivise our workforce are limited. Speaking to and writing to an employee to say “well done” makes them feel good, especially when that praise hasn’t come from their line manager, but further up the chain, and has also been copied to the executive. 


Feedback that comes in at a customer’s instigation is also a lot more compelling when conveying it back to the team. That is another reason why I always like to write back to thank customers for such feedback. Coming to work and feeling valued means a lot to us all and, while times have been tough for a few years now, we mustn’t lose sight of taking just a few moments to do our management and leadership basics well.


Roger Amos is head of property and HR shared services at the London Borough of Ealing