commendation, but make sure they know you
appreciate their good performance. A simple pat on the
back, a word of praise, or some other little gesture
shows your appreciation for an acceptable or well done
job. In addition, make sure their coworkers know you
appreciate their good performance. Place positive
counseling sheets in division folders, and through your
division head express appreciation at quarters. Those
types of feedback provide informal recognition. Few
things cost less or accomplish more than a pat on the
Rewarding your workers for their good work
provides them positive feedback of what good
performance is and what is expected of them. This
positive reinforcement goes a long way in building
confidence and trust in the chain of command. A day
off is also a reward that is much coveted by most
Sailors, but one that should be used sparingly and only
for continuous good performance. The trouble with
using early liberty or time off from normal working
hours is that it may become expected for any level of
work or it may not be perceived as a reward for above
average performance. Above average performance
may be rewarded by assigning more job responsibility;
just make sure the individual views this assignment as a
reward. If a worker demonstrates exceptional
performance, a more formal form of reward may be in
order. A counseling sheet, inserted in the division
officers personnel record book, outlining the
exceptional behavior demonstrated and its effect on the
commands mission is a positive reward and can be
referred to when writing the individuals annual
evaluation. Another formal form of rewarding
outstanding performance is one written to recite the
individuals outstanding performance, the job that was
done, and its contribution to the mission of the
command and/or the Navy.
Some examples of formal written rewards are:
Command Letter of Appreciation (LOA)
Command Letter of Commendation (LOC)
Navy Achievement Medal (NAM)
Navy Commendation Medal (NCM)
Sailor of the Month, Quarter, or Year
SECNAVINST 1650.1 and local instructions
detail the requirements for application and submission
of awards. There are many types of individual and unit
awards that can be given for outstanding performance.
Be creative when giving rewards. It takes only a little of
your time to write and submit an award that could mean
much to your workers. Giving an award to a
subordinate is a reward to yourself.
The second type of performance feedback is
CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK. When your
subordinates fail to meet established standards, you are
responsible for correcting the problem. Although that
may sound simple, correcting a problem involves more
than simply informing a worker that his or her work is
substandard and must improve. Often, there is a reason
behind poor performance. A personal problem,
thinking the chain of command doesnt care, and
ignorance of standards can all lead to poor
performance. Before jumping on your personnel,
observe their work habits, see if they have an obvious
problem, and then try to work with them to solve the
problem. Occasionally, counseling is required. A good
rule of thumb for these situations is to correct in
private and praise in public. Practicing that rule will
help you avoid embarrassing your subordinates in front
of their peers.
Follow five basic guidelines to provide
1. Always praise good performance or correct poor
performance as soon as possible; delay doesnt
make a hard job any easier.
2. Praise in public, such as at morning quarters;
and correct in private.
3. Look for the reason behind the action; find out
why someone is not performing up to par.
4. If a problem exists, work with subordinates to
solve the problem. If the problem is your fault,
acknowledge and resolve the problem.
5. Try to be aware of what is going on with your
workers; many times you can avoid problems if
you see them coming.
Always remember that your workers are people. If
you treat them as adults and show respect for them, you
will be amazed at what they can accomplish. That does
not mean you should allow subordinates to run wild;
you must insist on adherence to rules and regulations.
Last, but definitely not least, be sure to praise good
performance. Positive recognition is one of the best
motivators in a leaders arsenal.