We all love affirmation. Remember your time in school when you’d be happy after receiving positive feedback from your teacher?
It’s similar to how your employees feel after you provide them with positive, consistent, and thoughtful remarks. When done right, positive feedback helps your employees grow professionally, succeed and achieve their work goals.
But finding the right words and knowing how to phrase them is hard. In this post, we share 38 positive employee feedback examples and tips you can use.
What is positive employee feedback?
Positive employee feedback is an evaluation technique designed to celebrate, motivate and encourage employees based on their skills and achievements.
By providing positive feedback, you let your team members know what they’re doing right and what they should continue to do. On the other hand, negative feedback is the opposite since it focuses on areas they did wrong and how they can improve.
To provide effective positive employee remarks, pay attention to how you phrase your words. Your feedback must be genuine, concise, and void of vague language.
For example: “You’re a great leader John.” isn’t as effective as, “I appreciate your leadership skills John and how you were able to guide your team on X project last month and helped us achieve X results.”
Also, 39% of employees feel underappreciated according to research, so the way you phrase your feedback will have a major impact on their motivation.
Why does giving positive feedback matter?
According to research, employees want to receive more feedback. Moreover, 66% of Gen Z who are coming into the workforce would love to get feedback every few weeks to enable them to stay at their jobs.
Positive remarks enable employees to see that their work is being recognized and appreciated. Additionally, it boosts their confidence to continue working hard.
Also, positive feedback enhances:
- Employee engagement and a positive workplace
- Trust and transparency
- Employee retention
- Increased profits
All that is to say: Appreciating your employees will be good for them and your business.
38 sample employee feedback examples and Ideas
Not sure what to say? Here are 38 sample employee feedback ideas you can use for every function. Ensure to adjust the examples to your specific workplace situation and context.
What to say when an employee demonstrates:
Problem solving and creativity
86% of employers are seeking problem-solving skills during their recruitment process. Most businesses face new challenges every day and employees need to be creative to find solutions using this skill.
If you have an employee who is good at this area, let them know by saying:
- “I love your methodical approach to solving complex problems in the company and your department. Your attention to detail and considering all options from your team members is a rare skill. This is much appreciated.”
- “I know work is stressful now Vincent but thanks to you and your creative solutions we’re managing. I love and appreciate how you managed to provide us with a working framework that we can use for the remaining period of the year.”
- “It’s amazing how you don’t like to give up even when other members give up on the difficult tasks. As your manager, I’m eternally grateful. Please do let me know what you’d love for me to do to help you keep up with that spirit.”
- You’re creative, you think outside the box and take risks. This is a rare skill that has helped us close deals with clients that we wouldn’t have managed if it weren’t for you.”
Teamwork and collaboration are key skills in any organization. But not many employees like collaborating with each other.
In this situation you might say:
- “I’ve noticed you collaborate well with your colleagues in and outside of your team to achieve the set targets. This has helped us finish projects that would have otherwise taken us long, thank you, Daniel.”
- “Hey Don, you effectively provide support and share knowledge with your team members. Because of this, your teams are able to meet deadlines.”
- “I’m impressed with how you bring enthusiasm, positivity, and motivation to your fellow team members. This ensures you all reach your common goals.”
- “I want to congratulate you, Mark, not just because of your good performance but also because of how you handled that client’s project as the team leader. I appreciate your 100% dedication to the team every day. Your collaborative nature exemplifies our company’s culture and values.”
Employees who receive timely feedback on their good work are more likely to be engaged than disengaged. That’s why if you notice employees who work hard you should appreciate them before they lose their morale.
You could say:
- “You did an excellent job in helping us land this client. Because of your hard work and helping the team win, the client has decided to increase our contract with them for 5 more years. As a company, we are impressed by your work.”
- “Consistency, attention to detail, and hard work are your biggest strengths, Judy. Because of your hard work, we were able to identify flaws, glitches, and imperfections earlier in the proposal.”
- “Hey, Margaret. I wanted to let you know that I appreciate how your hard work has been positively contributing to the overall performance of the organization and your department. I’ll let you know the gift the company has decided to award you.”
- “I’m happy that your determination and good work has helped you meet your goal of finishing two clients’ projects weekly. I’m aware it isn’t easy. But I love how you strategically set your goals. I know it will have a good impact on our business, thank you.”
Communication is key in every workplace and field. Good communication helps build loyalty, teamwork and prevents misunderstandings.
However, according to a 2021 Gallup report, only 7% of employees feel communication is open and timely in their company. If this is a problem your employees have stated, reinforce good communication skills with positive teamwork feedback like:
- “Your confidence when communicating with our different clients is something I admire about you, Rachel. You appear knowledgeable while answering their different queries and still maintain excellent listening skills.”
- “You communicate calmly and professionally even under pressure John. As a company, we are impressed with how you handle difficult situations and conversations.”
- “I appreciate how you use our monthly and weekly meetings to ensure everyone is up to date on the products we are launching, Kim. I’m happy to see the team’s progress due to your efforts in encouraging us to touch base and collaborate during difficult times.”
Good interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are key for every workplace because they increase collaboration, motivation and resolve conflicts.
If you notice one of your employees excelling in this area, let them know with the following phrase:
- “I’ve noticed you have the ability to collaborate and work with your colleagues in different departments. This is a rare skill that most people lack. I’m happy about it and I encourage you to keep up the good work.”
- “Maureen, your new coworker has reported how you helped her settle in as a new hire two weeks ago. It takes a lot of thoughtfulness to help new employees and I’m glad you helped her settle in.”
- “You have an open mind and you welcome others’ suggestions well. This shows respect for your fellow team members which is vital in the workplace.”
- “I’ve noticed you’re patient with your fellow workers Peter, even when they’re having bad days. I know the workplace has been tough lately, your positivity is highly appreciated.”
Those employees who go above and beyond on their own deserve recognition. Show them you appreciate them for taking the initiative to work on certain projects by saying:
- “Hey, Mercy. Thank you for scheduling that last meeting call yesterday to finish up on the project’s loopholes. Because of your initiative, we’re going to finish this project earlier than expected. I’m proud of you for taking the time to check areas that needed improvement.”
- “You demonstrated initiative today William when you followed up on our last call to see if I needed any help in finishing the client’s work. I’m impressed by your skills and work.”
- “I appreciate how you decided to pick up John’s projects after he fell sick and couldn’t complete them. Because of your initiative to finish the projects, we have delivered great results and the client has added new work.”
- “I love your initiative in how you’ve been encouraging your fellow members to try out the new software we recommended so that they can improve their workflow. Thank you for setting a good example.”
Have some employees who continually seek to diversify and improve their skills?
Recognize their accomplishments and efforts with positive feedback like:
- “I’ve noticed you’ve improved in the communication area Marcus since we last spoke about it during your one-on-one performance review. Your eagerness and willingness to learn shows your resilience. I’m happy you’re part of my team and I can’t wait to see what you’ll achieve.”
- “Since the last 2021 quarter, you’ve improved in the area of time management. I can see the fruits of the effort you put into the course. I want you to let me know if there is anything else you would love for me to do to help you succeed.”
- “The way you presented the last project on UX research shows that you’re improving your skills. I’ve seen you grow in these 8 months and I’m confident you’ll achieve more in the coming years.”
- “I’ve been in this office for many years and not every employee is willing to learn this new skill. I’m impressed to see how you’ve dedicated yourself to learning it and improving yourself. I cant wait to see how it helps in your career in the coming years.”
Conflict resolution is an important but often overlooked skill in the workplace. Here you might say:
- “You resolved the conflict between your two team members so calmly. I was impressed by how you were able to find a common ground for the two of them to end the disagreement. Thank you for solving the conflict with kindness and calmness.”
- “Conflict resolution is your biggest skill, Adam. I’m grateful for the times you have been able to resolve conflicts between stressed employees. Your positive attitude and patience have managed to pull us through.”
- “You did well resolving the conflict between Margaret and Stephen today. If not for you, we would be solving some ugly situations now, thank you.”
Responding to changes
Change management is hard. Take a moment to celebrate your employees who handle changes at your organization exceptionally well.
You might say:
- “Kevin, I just need a moment to acknowledge: Change is hard and scary, and not every employee responds with such good vibes as you did. Thank you for being here and for championing our new initiative.”
- “I’m impressed by how you immediately wanted to know how you can make the changes easy for your team members. It made everyone transition easily, thank you.”
- “I know the last few months have been hard John. However, you have been patient, mature, and calm in this new situation. I appreciate you.”
- “Hey Gibson, thank you for accepting to take the new leadership role. I know we hadn’t prepared you well enough but I love how you have progressed so far.”
Leaders are an important asset that shapes the direction of a company. They’re always looking for methods to motivate and improve the performance of teams.
If you have employees who have leadership skills, let them know with:
- “By helping Mark get his project proposal in on time, you showed great leadership skills. Since you’ve also been doing well with all your other projects, I would like to help you grow into a full-time leader for your department.”
- “Your ability to create an inclusive culture and enable everyone to grow alongside you is a rare skill, Mary. You’re a true leader.”
- “As a true leader, you delegate tasks to the right people. This has helped our team achieve double results in the last quarter of 2022. This is much-appreciated Alex.”
- “I love how you show appreciation for every member of your team. This skill has helped us build a culture of trust and innovation in our team.”
Modify the above positive feedback examples and enjoy a productive, friendly, and vibrant workplace.
Principles of positive employee feedback
To effectively manage to give feedback using the above ideas and examples, consider these essential principles that can guide you.
Descriptive and specific
Your positive feedback should be specific, clearly stated, and based on your observations; both the positive action and its impact.
Simply put: Don’t use vague language and leave the employee wondering. “I’m doing well or I’m not, where should I improve”?
Maciej Kubiak, the head of people at PhotoAid recommends that “The gold rule for positive feedback is that it should praise at least one specific thing. Saying “your presentation was lovely” means nothing.
It sounds better if you say instead, “the way you asked questions during your presentation was really engaging.” Also, receiving feedback that emphasizes specific features of the work is much more satisfying.”
Feedback should be provided as soon as possible after an action or behavior has been observed in order to be effective.
When you wait for too long before giving positive feedback, it won’t have the desired effect.
For example, if you notice an employee has been working hard, don’t wait after a year to give them comments. Chances are they will lose their motivation.
Using a tool like BizMerlinHR’s Instant Feedback ensures you give timely, constructive, and frequent feedback.
Keep your tone in check
How you pass your feedback is more important than what you say.
Your tone should be kind and empathetic. When giving positive remarks, avoid mixing them with negative words.
Make achievements public
Try to make positive feedback public. Your employees will feel motivated seeing that you appreciate them in front of other people. But, some of your employees might prefer it private.
Also, negative comments are best given in private.
When giving positive and constructive feedback, it’s especially important to make it actionable.
Your words should include specific ways your team members can improve. Make the feedback future-focused and offer a solution instead of giving vague feedback.
For example, you could say,” You handled the client’s last-minute project well despite the challenge you had. Have you seen how I used Trello to organize everything? I’d love for you to use Trello for our future projects.”
How to establish a culture of continuous feedback
You’ve seen ideas and examples of positive feedback you can give and its importance. So how do you ensure you establish a culture of continuous feedback?
Here are tips to help you:
Build different feedback channels
You’ll only establish a good feedback culture if you have systems in place for giving and receiving feedback. Create different channels for that purpose.
This way, you’ll make your employees feel comfortable by using the method they feel is fair for them.
You can consider creating an effective feedback setting for:
- Individual and group
- Face-to-face and written
- Anonymous and attributed
- 1on1 and 360 feedback
Lead by example
If you don’t show your employees you’re willing to listen to feedback, they won’t take you seriously once you decide to offer your feedback.
For example, regularly ask your team members for feedback on areas where they think you should improve.
Make it a routine
Ensure to tell your employees about the feedback culture you want to create at your company. Enlighten them on the importance of feedback. After that make the feedback culture a routine.
Practice makes perfect. And with time you’ll be able to integrate it wholly into your company operations.
Listen to your employees
A workplace is a busy place with so many events happening. Managers and employees hardly have time to listen to each other. To build a positive feedback culture, listen, and create good relationships through shared experiences in the company.
For example, you can set one day aside each month where you can get to listen to each other.
When done right, feedback sessions with your employees will help them improve their work. And giving feedback doesn’t have to be hard or scary, embrace it as the gift it is.
BizMerlinHR offers an Instant Feedback tool that will help you define your feedback goals and targets. Boost positivity in your workforce by scheduling a demo with BizMerlinHR today.