Workplace Gratitude: 5 Tips to Give Thanks with Feedback this Holiday Season

The holidays are a busy time in most people's personal lives, but it's also a good period to reflect on the past year and give thanks to employees.

Showing gratitude doesn't always need to come in the form of a check as  65 percent of employees want more feedback, so let's strategize how to meet this need before year-end.
1. The Gift that Keeps on Giving: A Growth Mindset

Having a growth mindset is crucial for everybody, either giving or receiving feedback. Both employees and managers must believe they can change through the feedback process. Without being mentally and emotionally open to both giving and receiving feedback, you will limit your ability to grow and succeed. 

2. Go Back for Second Helpings

When giving feedback, one of the biggest mistakes many people make is setting it as a one-time occurrence, such as conducting annual reviews as the sole form of feedback. The truth is, effective feedback is given regularly and often. Don't assume your message is delivered in the first conversation: Follow up with the individual in a positive manner, repeat the goals and talk again about how he or she is progressing towards them. 

3. Know Who's Sitting at Your Table

During Thanksgiving dinner, you wouldn't serve pecan pie to your cousin who has a nut allergy, right? Same with giving feedback, it must be personalized to each individual's preferences and circumstances. Take the person you're giving feedback to into consideration: Do they like direct feedback? Should you take them out for coffee instead of meeting in a conference room? Are they going through personal challenges at home that you should recognize? The more you know, the more you can personalize the conversation and the more effective the feedback will be.

4. Do the Prep Work

Before going into the conversation, make sure to do the prep work. What is the goal and overall objective from this conversation? It's important to have a clear picture of what you're trying to achieve by giving this feedback so that the person receiving it is on the same page. 

5. Don't Steal the Thunder

When giving feedback, the receiver should be the one taking the reins on the solution: Let them decide their path forward. As the person providing the feedback, you should offer support and guidance when needed, but rather than dictating what they need to do to improve, allow them to find the solution themselves. This will help encourage their growth mindset by putting the individual in the driver's seat to guide their own career. 

About the Author
shellyShelley Osborne is head of learning and development at Udemy. She has 13 years of experience in the education sector and in corporate learning and development. Previously, she was VP of Learning & Development at Farside HR Solutions, specializing in talent leadership, management training, and soft skills development for startups. At Udemy, Shelley leads and executes the learning strategy for Udemy employees. She has a master's degree in Education from the University of Calgary and a bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta.