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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.
The ability to collaborate effectively across teams and with differing personalities is worth its weight in gold. When you see it, help it shine!
1. “I can tell how hard you’ve worked to be more collaborative during meetings. Yesterday, although you disagreed with David’s idea, you asked some good questions first. 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. I’m impressed with the way you’re working to dismantle silos. For example, when you drew the marketing team into our conversations, it sharpened our ideas and helped us meet goals faster. Keep up the good work.”
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.”
Get more feedback best practices in our article
Employee Feedback 101: Tips and Tricks
It’s true — at the heart of every success is great communication. Reinforce good communication skills with these positive feedback examples:
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 feedback supports goal-setting:
The 4 Secrets of OKRs That Actually Work
In today’s knowledge economy, problem-solving is more important than ever before. Give great problem-solving a shout-out 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. Great work!”
8. “You really went above and beyond to solve this complex issue 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. Acknowledge leadership qualities in your employees to help them grow.
9. “I want to thank you for demonstrating optimism in the face of uncertainty this morning. I know the new numbers were more worrying than we expected, and you really set the tone for the rest of the team.”
10. “Lena, this was a really challenging project. But the way you took it on, and broke down this complex project into manageable pieces, helped everyone else feel more confident about their part in it. Thank you for being a leader.”
✅ Meeting goals
Sometimes we’re working so hard to meet our goals, we forget to stop and celebrate when we do. Show appreciation, and celebrate the little wins.
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.”
🙏 Helping others
Team player attitude? Check! Servant leadership? Check! Commitment to the greater good? You get the idea. 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
Change management is not easy. Make a moment in the chaos to recognize employees who handle it exceptionally well, and spread the good vibes to others amid the uncertainty of change.
15. “Niall, I just need to take a second to acknowledge: 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. “Hanif, the fact that you immediately started asking how you could help make the change easier for the team was so helpful. It showed a great team spirit, and made the transition smoother for everyone.”
🕊 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.”
Need to give your manager feedback? Read:
How to Give Your Boss Feedback
🔦 Taking initiative
As a manager, you need team members who will drive things forward. Look for ways to motivate employees to take initiative on their own.
19. “Aeryn, thank you for jumping in and getting started on this last week. We’re going to turn this project around in record time thanks to your effort. Seriously, keep up the good work.”
20. “You demonstrated a lot of initiative today by calling the team together to problem-solve the hiccups. I’m impressed. 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 — it’s like you’re a whole different marketer. I can’t wait to see what you achieve next quarter.”
22. “Your time management has really turned around since last quarter. I’m really impressed with your growth, and I hope you can see it too. How can I help you continue to succeed?”
⭐️ Positive customer reviews
The success of the customer experience is what keeps the wheels spinning at an organization! So celebrate great reviews.
23. “Everyone, I just want to call out Brianne. She stayed late last week helping a customer with a tricky billing issue until way too late in the evening. The gentleman’s daughter called my office today to thank Brianne for being so patient and kind with her father, and that she’s proud to be our customer. Everyone, round of applause for Brianne!”
24. “Derek, I noticed the positive review you received from a customer last week. You really went above and beyond for her! That’s the kind of service that makes us proud. Keep up the great work.”
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when using these positive feedback examples:
📝 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.
Want to improve your 1-on-1s? Read:
The Ultimate Guide to Effective 1-on-1s for Managers
Take the guesswork out of feedback
We hope these positive 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.
At WorkTango, we’re revolutionizing how the world’s most forward-thinking companies engage and inspire their people. We offer the only holistic Employee Experience Platform built for the modern workplace that enables meaningful recognition and rewards, offers actionable insights through employee surveys, and supports alignment through goal setting and feedback.
WorkTango is built for the workplace we all want to be a part of – where priorities become clear, achievements are celebrated, and employees have a voice. To learn more, check out our platform overview video, or schedule a demo.