Positive Feedback and Reinforcement
Positive feedback motivates students and encourages them to continue doing their jobs well. Positive feedback is most effective when you:
- Recognize a specific action/behavior.
- Give it as soon as possible after the student’s good work occurs.
- Deliver it in a sincere manner.
- Direct it toward an individual rather than a group.
- Adapt it to the student’s style/preference.
- Keep it proportional to the work being recognized.
It is also a good idea to express general appreciation to your student employees for the outstanding support that they provide. Ways you might do this include:
- Celebrating National Student Employment Week. Supervisors receive information during the spring semester regarding this important event.
- Nominating excellent student employees for Student Employee of the Year. Supervisors receive information in January regarding the nomination process.
- Sending students thank-you notes, or creating a large thank-you note, signed by all staff members, to display in the department.
- Creating awards or certificates to give to your students. (Best Customer Service, Most Professional, Most Likely to Show up in a Snow Storm, etc.)
- Providing students with letters of recommendation for their job searches.
- Offering occasional “treat breaks” such as popcorn, candy, cookies, etc.
- Celebrating the birthdays of student staff members.
For more information on the topic of positive feedback, see Bringing Out the Best in People, by Alan Loy.