27 employee feedback examples & the right way to use them
Forward-thinking organizations understand that meaningful, growth-oriented feedback benefits everyone. When managers take the time to discuss performance with employees regularly, workers are 3.6 times more likely to agree that feedback motivates them to do outstanding work. (1)
Supportive conversations create positive feedback loops, motivating employees to engage in even more positive behavior. On the other hand, research shows that 90% of workers who had a negative feedback experience didn’t feel engaged. (2)
Outdated, negative feedback practices can actually do more harm than good. In a recent Leapsome study, most employees said they’d received hurtful feedback in their current role. (3)
This means it’s more important than ever to equip managers and teams with the skills to give positive feedback that’s both thoughtful and motivating.
We’ve compiled 27 positive feedback examples you and your team can use as a guide. Get inspired with affirmative feedback examples you can use to reinforce positive behavior, and learn how to give honest, constructive feedback that helps, rather than hurts.
When people know how to motivate and guide one another in supportive ways, teams thrive — and so does your business.
🚀 Want to level up your company feedback culture?
Our easy-to-follow guide will help your managers to give meaningful, impactful, and actionable input.
👉 Download the feedback template
Why employee feedback matters
“Feedback isn’t about instructing or scolding: it’s about giving someone the information and tools they need to develop their strengths and get over their hurdles.”
— Jenny von Podewils, co-founder and co-CEO at Leapsome
Before diving into our examples of good feedback, let’s take a look at the top five benefits.
1. Your direct reports want to receive feedback
Research shows that employees want to receive meaningful feedback so they have a better feel for where they can improve and where they’re already excelling. Feedback is fundamental to planning learning and development goals, and it brings coaching and enablement into the manager-report relationship.
Leapsome’s Workforce Trends Report found that 3 out of every 4 employees want more input, and they specifically want their managers to make more effort to provide positive feedback and recognize their valuable contributions to the company.
2. Feedback guides people in the right direction
Whether you’re a CEO or a new hire, you’ll need to go beyond your own subjective assessment to get an accurate picture of your performance. Everyone has blind spots and areas where they can improve and develop.
Feedback clarifies expectations, reveals learning opportunities, and helps people invest in the areas that will boost their career paths and take them where they want to be.
3. Feedback creates a climate of transparency & trust
When employees know they’ll receive timely (and helpful) feedback when they make a mistake, it’s easier for teams to be on the same page.
Meaningful feedback leads to trusting relationships, stronger teams, and a sense of psychological safety at work — all of which makes for a more humane (and potentially high-performing) company culture.
4. Feedback shows you care about the receiver
It takes time and energy to give someone useful feedback. When delivered appropriately and with care, feedback is a gift. It shows concern for the other person, and a deep investment in their progress.
Organizational psychologist and bestselling author Kim Scott says:
“It’s not enough to care only about people’s ability to perform a job. To have a good relationship, you have to be your whole self and care about each of the people who work for you as a human being.”
5. Feedback encourages good performance
When delivered with empathy, employee feedback can boost morale and give people more confidence in their work. By addressing issues with meaningful feedback, you give people the chance to learn and grow, fueling high employee performance. And when you share positive feedback, you acknowledge impactful work. Praise stimulates the brain’s “rest and digest” nervous system and shows team members that their efforts won’t go unnoticed.
When should I give employee feedback?
Managers should give frequent positive feedback but strike a balance to not bombard their direct reports with too much input.
However, while reviews are critical for developing high-performing teams, they don’t happen often enough to be the only source of input. In company cultures that value continuous feedback, workers are 3.6 times more likely* to strongly agree that it motivates them to do outstanding work.
Like most things in life, there’s a time and a place for feedback.
Before giving feedback, ask yourself if:
- The employee can hear and take on your feedback (for example, if they’re going through an emotionally vulnerable time because of personal issues, it might be worth it to wait before delivering the feedback);
- You’re feeling calm and invested, rather than stressed or antagonistic;
- You have a firm idea of what you want to say;
- You can give feedback in a quiet, discreet place;
- You have the proper space and time to listen to them and address questions that may arise from the feedback.
- The person’s actions are having a significant impact on coworkers or the company;
Deciding what counts as a “significant impact” depends on the context. If someone is late for a meeting once, it’s not reasonable to take them aside and ask them to work on their time management skills. But if an employee is regularly late for meetings, leaving colleagues waiting for them and disrupting the meeting’s flow, you’ll want to provide constructive feedback.
Here, it would be reasonable to ask the employee if they’re going through some difficulty or need scheduling support — perhaps rearranging the meeting’s time or adjusting the workload would help them.
Whenever delivering constructive or critical feedback, being specific and explaining the impact is crucial. It puts the feedback into context and helps people understand why you’ve raised the subject in the first place.
⭐️ Want to build a culture of continuous feedback at your company? 👏
Leapsome lets you celebrate your team’s successes and promote employee growth and development.
👉 Learn more here
Positive approaches to employee feedback
It’s crucial to provide positive feedback across the full spectrum of input types, including formal vs. informal conversations and manager vs. peer discussions. Our sample feedback will focus on meaningful, manager-to-report conversations for building and coaching engaged, high-performing teams.
Great leaders take a thoughtful approach to the two key feedback types:
- Reinforcing feedback (or positive feedback)
- Redirecting feedback (or constructive feedback)
Even constructive comments can have a positive impact when delivered compassionately and with the right support to help people grow and develop.
Let’s look at some good feedback examples for every situation, to inspire and engage leaders looking to give better input to their teams.
Reinforcing feedback examples (positive feedback)
Giving positive feedback — or reinforcing feedback — is more impactful than many think. After all, who hasn’t encountered managers who, no matter what their reports did, weren’t happy and never shared praise? Some managers think it’s obvious that they’re grateful when team members do a good job — but consciously acknowledging efforts and celebrating success at work is key to showing appreciation and encouraging employees to keep up the good performance.
Positive feedback activates the receiver’s parasympathetic nervous system, making them feel relaxed. This positive reinforcement makes people feel at ease and encourages them to continue delivering results (hence the term reinforcing). The motivational feedback examples we share below will boost employees’ confidence, help them engage, and make them more open to different types of feedback in the future.
Of course, that’s only the case if employees perceive the feedback as genuine and meaningful. The best positive feedback examples avoid generic statements and cliché.
You’ll see that all of the sample positive feedback we share below gets granular and emphasizes the context and impact of employee contributions. When you show your team that you see exactly how they’ve made a difference, they’ll feel truly valued for their efforts.
1. Show appreciation for individual performance
You’ve been bringing your A-game to work this quarter! Your efforts don’t go unnoticed — they’re very inspiring and impactful.
2. Show appreciation for team performance
I wanted to thank you for the amazing job you all have been doing as we launch this ambitious campaign. It’s been remarkable to see so much progress as a team.
3. Acknowledge efforts/results on a challenging project
I appreciate the effort you’ve put into the new feature launch. It’s been a pleasure to see you take ownership of this initiative and drive it forward. We’re delivering even more value to our customers now!
4. Recognize overall performance improvements
I just wanted to acknowledge that I’ve seen such a positive change in your performance since your last performance review. You’re very committed and I appreciate how engaged you are in helping the team find solutions.
5. Appreciate improved skills
I’ve been thrilled to see how much you’ve grown in the data analysis area since our last performance review! Thank you for your effort. How has this learning experience been for you?
6. Thank your report for going the extra mile in challenging times
I know it has been a challenging time at the company, with the changes in our leadership team and the rebrand. I’m impressed to see how you’ve been staying on top of all of your tasks while handling additional requests.
7. Praise someone who is supportive & sets a good example to other colleagues
One of the things I really enjoy about working with you is that you’re always willing to share ideas and support your colleagues! You don’t just consider the topics you’re working on, but you come up with ideas to help everyone else on the team and improve our processes.
That sets a great example and encourages other team members to be innovative and supportive. Thank you!
8. Acknowledge & encourage contributions to the company culture
I know that bringing up challenging conversations at work isn’t easy — I wanted to commend you on doing that and encourage you to keep it up! You’ve consistently brought up difficult, but much-needed discussions. You help keep us accountable, and you greatly contribute to the company culture.
9. Highlight actions you’d like to see more of
I really enjoyed the workshop you presented! It would be great if you could do that more often; I’m not sure if you realize how much your experience, perspective, and insights bring to the table! I learned a lot from your workshop, and I’m sure the entire team feels the same.
⭐️ Pro tip: Great leaders don’t just give feedback — they ask for it, too. Managers who give teams opportunities to provide input on their leadership will improve their skills and help employees feel heard. Furthermore, leaders who strive to be better through feedback model a growth mindset for their employees.
Redirecting employee feedback examples (constructive feedback)
Even on high-performing teams, managers will need to point out opportunities for development or request different ways of doing things. Redirecting feedback is input that signals problems or areas for improvement constructively. It’s a better approach to guiding employee change than outdated “negative feedback” practices which can destroy individual and team morale.
Calling people out at work without offering guidance and concrete solutions is ineffective and likely won’t improve performance and could even harm it. In contrast, when delivered effectively, redirecting feedback has the potential to bring teams closer together and enable your people to do their best work.
However, it can be tricky to know exactly how to give constructive feedback. This section will give you great feedback examples you can use in every situation, from refining processes that are already going well to addressing severe issues and mistakes.
💜 Giving constructive feedback doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable…
Our feedback template provides the expert guidance and growth-focused language you need to deliver actionable, kind feedback
👉 Download the template here
10. Help your report refine processes
Thanks for building and sending weekly reports to the leadership team — once we refine it a bit, it will be very impactful. Currently, it includes too many metrics, which makes it hard to read. I think we should work with a simplified version for leadership, with these key metrics: X, Y, and Z.
11. Support your report in improving their prioritization skills
I know you have a lot on your plate, and it’s challenging to handle multiple tasks. What would help us move forward would be to hit pause on task X for the time being and focus on delivering Y.
I’d recommend that you always consider the impact of each task and prioritize what’s most impactful before getting started with others. Let me know if a project’s impact is ever unclear or if I can support in defining priorities.
12. Recommend improvements after a presentation
I’d like to give you feedback on your presentation. Would this be a good time?
I appreciate how well-prepared for this presentation you were, your positive attitude, and your effort to keep the rest of the team up to speed on our latest highlights.
What may help you get the point across more clearly next time would be to give a few straightforward examples throughout the presentations. I’d also suggest that you simplify the data-heavy parts. The audience may not deal with this kind of information daily, so it’s best to focus on the key takeaways you’d like them to have in mind.
“If someone doesn’t have a clear understanding of what they are doing wrong, how can they be expected to fix it?”
— Jared Narlock, Leadership Development Coach
13. Guide them in finding a better approach to communicating
I’d like to have a chat about how you interacted with your colleagues at yesterday’s meeting. I understand you feel strongly about how the new marketing materials have been handled, but it’s important to come from a place of collaboration and not treat your colleagues like you know best.
We’re all free to disagree, but it’s crucial to be careful about how we share our points of view. Next time, I’d suggest you consider a more collaborative tone, acknowledging the positives and sharing your opinion as a constructive suggestion — not as the only way.
14. Highlight skills that need improvement
Do you have a moment to catch up on our social media channels? You’ve been doing a great job with our new strategy, but we could achieve even better results by stepping up our game with the writing aspect.
There are some well-recommended writing courses that might help — I’ll send you the links. How about you have a look and let me know if you’d be interested in those? I think this would be really important.
15. Get the root of disengagement
I couldn’t help but notice that you haven’t been as engaged and excited about your role lately. Is there anything I could support you with so that you feel better at work? Any processes or topics that we should reevaluate or adjust?
16. Suggest that they work on soft skills
I think you’d really benefit from working on soft skills like active listening and teamwork. Your hard skills — like data analysis, reporting, and market research — are outstanding, and polishing those soft skills is what I think could take you to the next level as a professional and team player.
17. Talk over unmet goals
I’d like to have a chat about the results from last quarter. We’ve set ambitious results, but as we’ve only reached X%, this shows us we could improve. We need to get closer to fulfilling these goals to support the company’s overarching objectives. Is there any extra support I can offer to help you reach your goals moving forward?
18. Address failure to meet deadlines
I’ve noticed that you haven’t met your deadlines a few times now. I understand that it can be challenging to juggle multiple tasks. But it’s crucial that you let me know in advance, so we can manage stakeholder expectations, adjust priorities, and reevaluate the workload when needed.
19. Discuss ongoing quality issues
This is not an easy topic, but I’ve noticed that the quality of your work has considerably slipped lately. And I know you have the potential to deliver outstanding results.
It’s really important that you pay more attention to details, as we’re expected to deliver high-quality work. Also, if there’s anything happening that has caused these changes and that I can help you with, I’m always available to talk and see where I can support you.
20. Talk through mistakes
Shall we do a quick debrief on X?
First, I want to acknowledge that we all make mistakes. But it’s essential that we learn from them and that it doesn’t happen again — especially when considering our work on X and how a mistake can impact the company/our customers. Is there anything about this process/task that is unclear to you and that I could help clarify?
21. Call out problematic behavior
This is a hard conversation, but we really need to talk about your behavior during our last team meeting. We don’t tolerate disrespect at the company, and there’s always a way to voice concerns and dissatisfaction without being rude to others.
Tips and impactful employee feedback examples
“There is no mastery without feedback.”
— Brené Brown, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
Guide people toward a solution
According to experts from the Center for Creative Leadership, just telling someone how to fix a problem isn’t the way to go: “You’ll foster more learning by asking questions that stimulate reflection and coaching people into exploration and experimentation.”
Describe the situation & the impact
When giving constructive feedback, ensure you’re describing the situation, the impact, and guiding them toward finding a solution. You must also encourage the other person to engage and share their perspective.
When sharing positive feedback, always clarify the situation, the impact, and your gratitude.
Example A: Redirecting comments for an employee who finds it hard to stay focused in meetings
- Situation [your perspective]: “I’ve noticed that in our last few department meetings, you seem a bit switched off. Sometimes you seem a little distracted and disengaged, glancing at your phone or out the window, and you often don’t ask follow-up questions about tasks and projects that relate to you.”
- Impact: “That can make whoever is speaking feel like they’re not being listened to. I worry key information and decisions might get missed.”
- Encourage the other person’s input and reassure them: “Does that seem like a fair comment to you? What’s your experience of our meetings been like? Are there any general issues with focus we can support you with? I know you care deeply about your contributions here, and I’m confident that with some small adjustments, we can set you up to feel engaged in our team meetings.”
- Pause and listen to the other person: They may share something like: “I sometimes feel overwhelmed when there are lots of agenda items to cover. I also worry sometimes that if I ask clarifying questions it may seem like I haven’t understood things.”
- Suggest an approach: “It's completely normal to feel overwhelmed when there's a lot to unpack in a meeting. Let’s look at breaking our team meetings into two halves with a break in between and setting the agenda in advance so you can feel prepared. I can also empathize with you feeling anxious about asking questions in the moment — thank you for sharing this with me. But I want you to know our meetings are a judgment-free space, and asking questions is the best way to truly understand something, not a sign that you haven't grasped it. Please also know you can message or email me any time if you have questions, comments, or need more detail. ”
Example B: Positive comments for an employee who did a great job
- Situation [your perspective]: “You’ve worked so hard on transferring our sales data to the new CRM. I know it was a difficult, sometimes tedious process, and maybe it feels like all your effort has been in the background while your colleagues have been working on other tasks as usual and getting positive work feedback”
- Impact: “Thanks to you, we can now move forward knowing that all our data is in the right place, and we have a much more accurate overview of our sales pipeline.”
- Gratitude: “It hasn’t gone unnoticed, and I’m really grateful. If you have any ideas for the next project you’d like to work on, just let me know!”
Forget the feedback sandwich
The “feedback sandwich” is a cookie-cutter approach to feedback. It consists of buttering up the receiver with praise before serving them whatever negative feedback you came to give — then returning to a positive note to ease the burn.
Our advice? Nobody wants to eat this sandwich! Your employees know what you’re doing, and this method leaves them waiting anxiously for negative news. It can even make them cynical about positive employee feedback you give in the future (even if you mean it).
Instead, say what you need to say in a direct but caring way, offer your employee support on implementing any changes you suggest, and wrap up your session on a forward-facing note. There’s no need to downplay negative behavior or over-inflate praise.
It's actually more effective if feedback is given openly and honestly in a supportive manner. When we appreciate employees for qualities like continuous learning, grit, and resilience, and acknowledge setbacks as normal parts of growth, it helps create a psychologically safe space where "negative" feedback isn't feared as a punishment.
Candidly share what your team members should keep doing, what they should begin doing, and what they should stop doing. Authentic feedback is impactful feedback.
Share negative feedback in private
As a rule of thumb, give constructive feedback privately, with only the person you want to share the input with.
Be respectful, find the right time & be empathetic
Raising one’s voice, making personal remarks, or acting in a passive-aggressive way shouldn’t happen in any workplace.
Also, although constructive feedback must be timely, don’t share it when someone seems stressed, is experiencing personal difficulties, or is in a hurry.
As always, empathy is key. At Leapsome, we exchange feedback to improve work relationships and help one another grow. The goal is to reach the lesson at the heart of feedback; we can overcome the fear of giving and receiving feedback with compassion for one another.
🚀 Give meaningful feedback that’s guided by best practices and tailored to individuals.
With Leapsome’s growth-oriented performance review tools, you can effortlessly create employee suggestions and personalized roadmaps for actionable feedback.
👉 Learn more
Employee corner: How to give feedback to your manager
Feedback should also travel upwards from reports to their managers. And not just as a principle: research supports that positive and negative feedback are “essential to helping managers enhance their best qualities and address their worst so they can excel at leading.”
But if your company doesn’t have a strong feedback culture yet, giving constructive feedback to your manager probably feels like the last interaction you want to have at work!
So how to give feedback to your manager without feeling like you’re stepping on their toes? By gently asking questions. Asking questions is a more indirect way of calling attention to your boss’ missteps. It suggests there might be another way of going about things.
❌ NO: “I noticed you took the credit for doing my work!”
✅ YES: “Hey, thanks for telling the leadership team about that project! Did you give them my name in case they have questions about the research I did?”
❌ NO: “I noticed you frequently cancel our 1:1s at short notice. Are you not interested in talking to me?”
✅ YES: “Do you think we should schedule our 1:1s at a different time so they don’t interfere with your schedule?
Here are some examples of feedback for your manager:
22. Ask for further guidance
Could we book more regular one-on-one meetings? I’d appreciate your guidance and your advice has helped me achieve great results in the past.
23. Express stress or concern
I enjoy working here, but recently I’ve felt overwhelmed by client calls. It’s affecting my ability to concentrate and reach my usual standard of work.
I think I’d benefit from giving clients specific office hours, but I’m open to suggestions. How would you approach this?
24. Provide constructive feedback
Could you tell me more about your strategy for this project? I’d love to hear your thoughts and it would help me understand which tasks to prioritize.
Employee corner: Giving feedback to coworkers
In recent years, companies have focused more on feedback for colleagues, by colleagues. You might dread giving peer-to-peer feedback, but it’s hugely important for building a collaborative, growth-focused culture. Coworkers who regularly interact and collaborate on projects are in a unique position to notice each others’ strengths and opportunities for improvement. Someone who provides positive and helpful feedback is being a supportive team member, invested in their colleagues’ success. In fact, research by Gartner shows that peer feedback can boost employee performance by up to 14%.
When giving a colleague feedback, setting the right context from the beginning is important. Make it clear that the purpose of the discussion is to have a productive conversation aimed at mutual growth and learning, rather than criticism.
Be as specific as possible. Instead of generalizing, refer to concrete behaviors or actions and the impact. Keep project feedback examples focused on particular aspects of the project you’d like to repeat or learn from, rather than expressing your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with how things went overall. Remember to highlight actions that had a positive impact and tell your colleagues how they helped.
If you’re concerned about coming off as critical or arrogant, keep your tone light and informal and frame the conversation in a spirit of mutual learning versus exposing faults. Ask your coworkers for their perspective on things and get their feedback in return. That way, it’ll feel like a natural discussion and not like you’re talking down to your peers.
Use the following colleague feedback examples to guide thoughtful peer conversations for continuous improvement.
25. Focus on positives
I know you’re disappointed with the client feedback, but I think your campaign was excellent and the sales figures were higher than last year’s. All you need to do, in my opinion, is work on setting more realistic expectations.
26. Request feedback in return
I thought the comparison you made between X and Y at the end of the presentation was excellent. It showed you’d done a lot of research on the topic and had a lot of expertise to share. Don’t be afraid to address the client more directly more often — he was clearly impressed!
Would you mind telling me what you thought about my half of the presentation? I’d really like to get some pointers.
27. Be specific
Could you arrive five minutes early to future meetings? We need to start at 3 p.m. sharp, and we’ve been starting five or ten minutes late each week while you set up. It’s been making me late to my next appointment.
Leapsome makes meaningful feedback part of daily work
Giving feedback to team members fuels honesty, collaboration, and trust. Without feedback, there’s no growth. In contrast, a robust feedback culture helps managers, direct reports, and colleagues strive for continuous improvement — together.
The examples of feedback we’ve shared in this piece are a great first step that will let you give your teams the input they need and boost engagement, retention, and employee morale in the process.
Using dedicated people enablement software — like Leapsome — can take your general feedback process to the next level. Here’s how.
1. Share performance review feedback that enables growth
Leapsome allows organizations to conduct customizable performance reviews that make a difference. You can easily create and run 360° feedback processes and interpret feedback trends to spot key growth areas.
Then, you can use competency frameworks and personalized learning plans to empower your teams to continue improving.
2. Transform feedback into action with AI-powered tools
AI-driven feedback prompts streamline the process. But Leapsome also converts feedback content into actionable insights so leaders can determine the required next steps.
With AI-powered survey sentiment analysis and smart suggestions on how to turn feedback ideas into actionable takeaways, Leapsome helps you to drive improvements at individual and organizational levels.
3. Create clear development goals and learning paths
Feedback is important — but what really matters is follow-through. That’s why Leapsome complements performance reviews with tools to translate growth opportunities into clear, measurable goals.
Leapsome Learning lets you build personalized learning paths to support your employees as they take your feedback on board. We also have a robust learning marketplace where you can find gold-standard courses to help your people develop skills in everything from management essentials and interviewing best practices to legal compliance and cybersecurity.
4. Put gratitude center-stage & build a culture that celebrates success & collaboration
Use Leapsome’s praise wall to celebrate wins and show coworkers and reports that you value their work. Shouting out team members in public is a great way to recognize their contributions, creating a positive feedback loop.
5. Give (or request) continuous feedback
Our instant feedback tools let managers and team members give feedback in real-time to help colleagues grow and improve. You can automatically integrate your feedback with predefined skills and organizational values — or leave it open-ended. This feedback remains private between the sender and the receiver.
With the support of Leapsome, managers and HR leaders can tap into the powers of compassionate, constructive feedback to enable their teams.
⭐️ Feedback can be so rewarding when done well…
Let us help you get it right! Learn how Leapsome can help you to build a powerful feedback culture today.
👉 Try it out
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