Nov 26, 2022
12 min read

5 Tips for Giving Feedback at Work (+ Employee Feedback Examples)

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Do you rely on employee feedback examples often enough? We hope you do because relevant employee feedback proved to boost engagement big time. 

According to Gallup, businesses with high engagement levels outperform bottom-quartile companies by 18% in sales results and 23% profitability-wise.

But employee engagement is not something you can take for granted—it demands a lot of effort and continuous feedback to turn your team into a high-performing unit. That’s why the best employee feedback examples are so important for HR professionals and business owners alike.

In this post, we will show you five tips for giving feedback at work. Keep reading to see some of the best employee feedback examples. 

5 tips for giving employee feedback

It’s important to analyze employee performance, but you must go beyond official reports and periodic reviews to make a bigger engagement impact. The simple way to do it is through direct communication and constructive feedback.

After all, nearly 75% of people prefer communicating face-to-face when receiving feedback and talking with their colleagues. Here are five tips for sharing direct reports and feedback with your crew.

  1. Do it timely to make it count

The most important rule of employee feedback is to do it as soon as possible, preferably in real-time. It means providing positive and negative feedback right after the project completion, meeting, or business event. It helps your workers easily connect the dots between their actions and the consequences.

At the same time, you need to make it count—don't beat around the bush by giving generic employee feedback. Your comments and remarks should always be clear, concise, and specific.

  1. Make it informal

Performance reviews are formal, but employee feedback isn’t. You can give feedback informally in different ways, such as during a coffee break or while having lunch together. The informality of the setting allows you to have a more natural conversation without putting your employees on the spot.

Moreover, informal communication allows you to give employee feedback more often. You can use it to reinforce desired behaviors or motivate your employees to stay on the right track.

  1. Keep your employee feedback focused

Another important tip is to focus on a specific behavior or result when giving employee feedback. The overall message will get lost if you try to cover too many topics, and your team members will have difficulty understanding what they need to improve.

Here’s an example—when your colleague completes a project ahead of schedule, praise them for their good work and dedication. But if they make a mistake, explain what they did wrong and how they can improve in the future.

Focusing on specific behaviors will help your employees understand what they need to do next time they face a similar problem. It will also prevent them from feeling overwhelmed by too much feedback.

  1. Let your employees respond

After providing employee feedback, let your colleagues respond. It gives them a chance to explain their side of the story and provide additional context. Allowing employees to respond will also help you build trust and rapport with them.

In case an employee disagrees with your feedback, try to find a middle ground where both of you can agree.

If you think they didn't do their best on a project, but they claim they did, you can ask them to elaborate. It’s a nice in-between move that should lead to mutual understanding.

  1. Proposing a solution

Don’t forget to conclude your feedback sessions by proposing a solution. That shows your team members that you're not just pointing out the problem—you're also invested in helping them fix it. When discussing a practical issue, explain what your colleague did wrong and suggest a way to avoid it in the future.

If they did a good job, ask them to explain how they achieved such great results. Asking employees for their input shows that you trust their judgment and expertise. It will also help them feel more ownership over their work and career.

How often should you give feedback to employees

The short answer to this question is - whenever you feel like they need it. It may be every day or week, but it should be regular. 

Perhaps it sounds vague, but it’s up to business owners, supervisors, and HR managers to identify opportunities for providing constructive feedback. It’s a matter of common sense—you should react whenever you see the opportunity to deliver effective employee feedback. 

Here are a few typical situations when giving feedback is necessary:

  • When your colleagues do something well: Nearly 70% of workers say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. You should never miss out on the opportunity to acknowledge their achievements. 
  • When you see them underperform: This one goes without saying—you have to react and warn workers if they’re not getting it right. 
  • Do it when they expect you to provide feedback: Some projects are too important to ignore. In such circumstances, even your team members expect a reaction. This is when you must step up and give further instructions.

How to work with employees who don’t take feedback well

Constructive feedback is a mandatory part of any work environment, but some employees have difficulty receiving it. You can do a few things when giving feedback to an employee who doesn’t take it well.

First of all, don't talk in front of other team members. That will only make the employee feel embarrassed and defensive. Make it a private feedback conversation instead. Secondly, try to focus on a specific problem. Here's an example:

  • Wrong: I don't appreciate your attitude.
  • Right: You told me you finished the presentation, but you didn't.

Specific statements like this one keep the conversation focused on the behavior and not on the person. 

Finally, you should try and come close to an agreement. For example, you can say: “Can we avoid this problem in the future?” This way, it sounds like you're on the same page and working together to improve.

Employee feedback examples

You can come up with constructive employee feedback examples on your own, but it’s also fine to see what already works well for most companies. These include both types of employee feedback—positive and negative.

We prepared a list of effective employee feedback examples that you can use every day. Let’s check them out!

Positive employee feedback examples

We will start with positive feedback statements that you can use to praise the work of your colleagues. Here are our top five picks:

  • Positive feedback for newbies: Reaching your goals already in the first quarter is nothing short of amazing! Keep up the good work!
  • Positive feedback for a well-done job: Your presentation was fabulous! Our client immediately scheduled a trial session, and I expect them to become a full-time customer. I truly appreciate your creativity and passion for this job!
  • Positive feedback for handling an angry client: I was impressed with the way you pulled it off earlier this morning! The client was incredibly rude, but you somehow managed to calm them down and solve the problem. Keep up the good work!
  • Positive feedback for teamplay: I really have to say that I’m amazed by how well you handle your tasks while taking the time to help our interns. Your contribution to the team is phenomenal!
  • Positive feedback for getting back to work: Hey, I can’t believe it took you only a few days to get back on track! I saw what you did today at the meeting—your performance was truly amazing. I’m glad to see you’re doing great again!

All these employee performance phrases are examples of constructive feedback that will make your colleagues feel good about their work. Remember to use them as often as possible because providing positive feedback maximizes engagement and loyalty. 

Negative employee feedback examples

Now it’s time to focus on negative feedback. Remember that we often call it constructive feedback because it helps team members improve performance. Let’s take a look at the best examples of negative feedback:

  • Negative employee feedback for improving their work: Thank you for crafting such a nice presentation. It will be extremely useful as soon as we fine-tune it a bit. We could remove a few lines of text and add some charts, don’t you think? 
  • Negative employee feedback for internal communication: I’d like to talk to you about our team meeting yesterday. It’s great that you came up with so many improvement suggestions, but maybe you’re being too harsh on our marketing department. Perhaps you could be using a slightly more collaborative style, letting them know you are just trying to give constructive feedback.
  • Negative employee feedback for engagement: It seems like you’re not giving your best lately. Is there something bothering you? Can I do anything to help you out or make you feel better at work? 
  • Negative employee feedback for missing deadlines: I can’t help but notice that you missed the deadline a few times in a row already. I know you’re managing a lot of projects these days, but it’s critical for me to know it well beforehand. It’s the only way for us to adjust and delegate tasks properly.
  • Negative employee feedback for addressing mistakes: Everybody makes mistakes, but we all need to do our best not to repeat them. This one really jeopardized our cooperation with one of the key clients. We have to make it up for them now. Is there anything you’d like me to help you with before you meet the client again?

Each of these statements represents a good example of effective employee feedback. When you put it like this, your colleagues know what they’ve done wrong, but they will also know what to do next and how to improve. 

Conclusion

The way you provide feedback to your employees has the power to make or break company culture in the long run. Effective feedback leads to positive outcomes, while rare and inefficient feedback sessions do the opposite. 

It’s easy to choose your path from this point on. What makes employee feedback even easier is having a customizable HRM system like Effy

Our platform enables you to automate many HR processes, so you can always keep track of employee behavior. It allows you to focus on tangible results, providing feedback that really matters to your staff. 

So how about giving it a try? Sign up for free now, and let Effy prepare everything you need to give regular feedback to your employees.

FAQ: Employee Feedback Examples

What are some examples of positive feedback?

Positive feedback examples include statements encouraging workers to keep up the good work. Providing positive feedback is your way to boost employee engagement and loyalty. Here are a couple of examples: 

  • Congratulations on reaching your Q3 goals already!
  • Your presentation was magnificent—the client already booked an onboarding session.  

Positive employee feedback comes in various forms. It can be praising a team member for learning a new skill, solving some challenge, or going the extra mile to help another colleague. You can compliment someone's strengths, but it's important to be specific and explain why you think that is a good trait and how it helps the team.

What is good constructive feedback examples?

Sometimes you need to share negative feedback as well. We often call it constructive employee feedback because it aims to improve efficiency without making your workers feel bad or discouraged. In this case, you can use these phrases for feedback conversations:

  • Our company culture is about acceptance and understanding. Could you try being more open and collaborative in the future? I think it would greatly improve the functioning of our team. 
  • I see you’ve been missing quite a few deadlines lately. Do you feel overwhelmed or distracted? Whatever the reason, I’d like to help you out with it.

What are some examples of feedback? 

There are so many examples of negative and positive employee feedback. The goal is to acknowledge quality work or warn workers about problematic behavior. In each case, the idea is to keep a positive attitude when providing feedback. 

For example, don’t forget to mention an employee’s good qualities — even when you give negative feedback. It’s a way to show that they generally do well but require certain adjustments. 

Here are the three most common types of feedback:

  1. Recognizing your colleagues' efforts and complimenting their work: I noticed that you went above and beyond to complete the project in a timely manner and I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate you.
  2. Provide feedback on areas that could be improved: Hey, I noticed you're struggling with the new accounting software. If you have any questions or need support, I'll be glad to help you!
  3. Evaluation feedback: Assessing someone's skills and results against a set of standards
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