Employee feedback matters. It’s the response to our behavior and work product that tells us where we stand, and how to get better. But positive feedback matters just as much, if not more, than constructive feedback — which is why we’re sharing some of our favorite positive feedback examples.
Positive vs. constructive feedback
Giving employees critical feedback is, well, critical to their growth and development. (By the way, we don’t mean negative feedback! Just constructive, effective feedback on employee performance.)
Not only does that feedback improve the work that employee is doing now, it increases the chance that a great employee will stick with your company in the long run. Need proof? Gallup notes companies that give their employees regular feedback have 14.9% lower turnover than companies that don’t.
But today, let’s dig into some positive feedback examples.
24 positive feedback examples for employees and managers
The ability to collaborate effectively across teams, and with differing personalities, should not be taken lightly. Don’t miss opportunities to recognize it when you see it.
1. “I can tell how hard you’ve worked to be more collaborative during meetings. Yesterday, instead of immediately arguing with David’s idea, you asked some good questions first. Now your critiques are more powerful than they used to be. You’ve come a long way, and the team is better for it.”
2. “Your ability to work across teams and departments is a strength not everyone has, and I’m not sure you’re aware of how powerful it is. When you draw the marketing team into our conversations, it sharpens our ideas and helps us meet goals faster. Keep up the good work.”
Results certainly matter, but effort should be recognized and rewarded, too. When that’s done, employees feel motivated to stay persistent and keep working toward their goals.
3. “You put so much hard work into getting this client, and it really paid off. Thanks to your focus and determination in going the extra mile and managing all of the complexities of this project, we met our goals.”
4. “Even though the outcome wasn’t what we wanted, I want to congratulate you on all of the hard work you put in over the past few weeks. If we apply that same effort to our next project, I believe we can win.”
It’s true – success always points back to great communication in one way or another. Recognize good communication skills so that they’re reinforced.
5. “I really appreciated how you used check-ins to keep me up to date on your project this week — it helped me coordinate with our stakeholders, and I’m excited to share that we’re on track to launch. It’s also great to see your process. I’m impressed with the efficiencies you’re learning.”
6. “Thank you for taking extra effort to make sure the entire team was on the same page. It would have been easy for important details to slip through the cracks, but thanks to you, that didn’t happen.”
Learn how employee communication has changed in our manifesto:
The Employee Experience Revolution
In today’s knowledge economy, problem-solving is more important than maybe ever before. Don’t miss your chance to commend great problem-solving when you see it, so that it becomes more and more a part of your company culture.
7. “Thanks to your willingness to take risks and learn from mistakes, we solved a problem that could have cost the company a lot in the long run.”
8. “You really went above and beyond to solve this in a timely manner. I can tell you’re committed to our clients, and our team, and I really appreciate it.”
☝️ Leading by example
Strong companies are built by strong leaders. Acknowledging leadership qualities in an employee early is beneficial for everyone.
9. “Thank you for demonstrating optimism in the face of uncertainty this morning. You really set the tone for the rest of the team.”
10. “Your ability to break down this complex project into manageable pieces helped everyone else feel more confident about their part in it. Thank you.”
✅ Meeting goals
It feels less intuitive to show appreciation when things go right than to give criticism when they go wrong. Don’t neglect opportunities to appreciate an employee who keeps things moving forward, one project at a time.
11. “One of your strengths is that you almost always deliver projects on time. Some talented people really struggle in that area. Our clients expect it, and hitting these goals is critical to everything that we do. Keep it up.”
12. “I can tell you’ve learned how to maintain a workload that’s ambitious, yet realistic, because you’ve met all of your goals for the past 3 quarters. Last year we talked about your tendency to take on too many projects at once blocking your success. You’ve really improved, and everyone’s better for it.”
How to Give Performance Reviews in 2020
🙏 Helping others
Helping others demonstrates a team player attitude, servant leadership, and a commitment to the greater good. When you see it, speak up.
13. “You demonstrated strong leadership skills last week when you helped Mallory get her proposal finished on time. Since you’re ahead on all of your own projects, I’d like to start talking through what you need to grow into more of a leadership role here.”
14. “Your willingness to look outside of yourself and make those around you better is one of the most valuable contributions you’re making. Thank you.”
👍 Responding to change
There are endless books on change management for a reason; it’s not easy. Don’t forget to recognize employees who handle it exceptionally well, and spread the good vibes to others amidst the uncertainty change can bring.
15. “Change is scary, and not everyone responds with as much positivity as you did. Thank you for helping us move forward on this new initiative.”
16. “The fact that you immediately started asking good questions about how to introduce this change effectively was so helpful. If you hadn’t responded that way, things might not have gone so smoothly.”
🕊 Handling conflict
The importance of great conflict resolution skills should not be undervalued. Conflict is inevitable, and understanding how to respond is critical.
17. “You did a great job managing the conflict that came up during the meeting yesterday afternoon. If both parties hadn’t felt heard and understood, I think we would have been facing a standstill.”
18. “It can be tough relating to your former peers after a promotion. You’re doing a good job of navigating your new role and new responsibilities.”
Get more feedback best practices in our article
Employee Feedback 101: Tips and Tricks
🔦 Taking initiative
As a manager, you don’t want to be the only one who keeps things moving forward. Look for ways to show appreciation so your team is motivated to take initiative on their own.
19. “Thank you for not waiting for someone else to tell you how to get started on this. It cut our time in half and made my job a whole lot more enjoyable. Keep up the good work.”
20. “You’ve demonstrated a lot of initiative lately by calling the team together to problem-solve the hiccups. I’d like to talk to you more about ways to grow in other areas of leadership, too.”
🧘♀️ Personal development
Most of us want continuous growth and development opportunities. Be sure to point out what it is you appreciate when an employee puts the work into developing their career.
21. “You’ve come a long way since you started here. All of the effort you’ve put into reading and taking online courses really shows.”
22. “I can tell your time management improved after last quarter. I hope you can see it too. How can I help you continue growing?”
⭐️ Positive customer reviews
The success of the customer experience is what keeps the wheels spinning at an organization, and should not be underestimated or underappreciated.
23. “You consistently go above and beyond to make your customers happy, and your entire team benefits. Thank you.”
24. “I noticed the positive review you received from a customer last week. Keep up the great work.”
Useful guidelines for giving positive feedback
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when giving positive feedback:
📝 Be specific
Hearing “Great job!” is much less effective than hearing “Great job leading that meeting. I could tell everyone was engaged because you took the time to really hear them out.” Giving general feedback can be confusing if the recipient doesn’t know exactly what they did well.
💥 Tie it to the impact
Don’t leave your feedback recipient wondering why what they did matters. Connect the dots for them, by praising both the effort they put in, and also the outcome it led to.
🙈 Assume people don’t see their own strengths
It’s easy to believe an employee knows she’s really good at something, but that’s not always true. Oftentimes, we’re just as blind to our strengths as we are to our weaknesses. Point out strengths and positive outcomes, even if you think someone already sees it on their own.
🌟 Let positive feedback stand on its own
Don’t get caught always using the feedback sandwich, which looks like this: Positive feedback + Constructive Feedback + Positive Feedback. That’s useful in some circumstances, but make sure you’re giving plenty of positive feedback on its own, too.
📣 Give both 1-on-1 and public positive feedback
Make a habit of not only recognizing employees on an individual level, but also doing so in front of their peers. Public recognition can elevate the benefits of regular feedback.
Take the guesswork out of feedback
We hope these employee feedback examples have helped you feel more prepared for your next 1-on-1 conversation. If you’re still grappling with the critical question of when to give feedback, let us ease your mind. Kazoo’s employee recognition software takes the guesswork out of how, when, and where to give employees the feedback they need to be happy and successful — freeing you up to focus on the conversations that matter.
Ready to see how a continuous performance management program connects your employees, encourages a culture of appreciation, and aligns individuals, teams and geographies behind your most important priorities?