Pass on praise to everyone.

I was reading an article in Fast Company about the importance of passing on praise to deserving employees outside of the call center. The point was what I called a duh-ism, but it makes sense and it is something that many companies forget about almost completely.

Many companies are very good about passing on praise to the customer service department. Not all companies are good at this, but at most well run call centers, emailing in and saying a good thing about Bob will eventually make its way back to Bob. If Bob happens to get negative feedback, chances are that is discussed with him as well.

But what if a customer writes in praising the visual design of the product? Does that feedback make it to the product design team? Or if the customer writes in and says he or she respected how eco-friendly the packaging was. Does that make it to the team in charge of the packaging? What if the customer writes in about how clean the bathrooms were? Do the custodians hear about this? Unlikely. Chances are, it makes it to corporate communications or customer service. The customer will get a nice reply back, but in most companies, the feedback isn’t passed on to the actual people who worked on that aspect of the product.

If your company isn’t already, a process should be made to forward feedback to the relevant people. Forwarding positive feedback about a customer service representative to the actual representative makes sense. Forwarding positive feedback about the cleanliness of the restrooms to corporate communications does not make sense. It should be forwarded to the custodians so they can see it (and know that their hard work is appreciated) and then to corporate communications to actually reply. The actual employees probably don’t care as much about replying (so, corporate communications shouldn’t worry about someone taking over their job) as they do about getting the actual feedback.

A steady stream of positive feedback can encourage employees to keep doing great work. A lot of employees feel under appreciated because their efforts aren’t recognized. Developing a process for recognizing the hard work of employees by doing something as simple as forward them customer feedback can make a huge difference in employee morale and motivation.

And be sure to check out this post about making it easy to provide positive feedback in the first place.