At last, it’s time to transition from shoveling snow to caring for our lawns and gardens. (On behalf of those of us living in the northern U.S., can I just say, “Whoopee!!!!”?)

Just as even a small plot of grass needs attention, so do your employees. To spring to success, feed high performance. Here’s how:

Fertilize regularly with positive feedback. Make it specific, meaningful and truthful. For example, “That report was delivered ahead of schedule and provided the information we needed to move ahead. Well done!”

Rake off those dead leaves, and make success public. Share people’s successes not only with them, but with others as well – in team meetings, on the company’s intranet, etc. Celebrate!

Trim to the right height with insightful guidance. Rather than a general comment that improvement is needed, share best practices that work. Better yet, find ways to coach as they practice new skills, first in “safe” situations, then increase the level of risk/reward over time.

Kill the weeds with constructive criticism. Share opportunities for improvement only when needed.  Bringing up every point of disagreement is like overusing weed killer. It destroys everything. When you give constructive criticism, stay fact-based, calm and focused on the best interests of the person and organization.

A Chinese proverb states, “When spring comes, the grass grows by itself.” That may be true for grass, but we know that even our strongest performers need the right mix of positive feedback and constructive criticism.

Have a question or want some input from Humanergy about this topic? Contact us and we’ll get right back to you!