Positive Feedback: Develop a Winning Team

Nobody’s born a master of giving feedback. Whether positive or negative, it takes time to figure out how and when best to give it in order to achieve the desired outcome. But positive feedback, if done right, can be incredibly motivating—both for individuals on your team and yourself.

In this blog post, we’ll explore positive feedback, discuss why it’s important for developing a winning team, and provide examples of how to give positive feedback. So if you’re looking for a roadmap for being successful in delivering quality constructive feedback in any business setting, this article is sure to have something useful for you.

What is positive feedback?

Positive feedback is a term used to describe the impact of well-delivered, encouraging words or actions that can significantly improve the performance and morale of team members. It can be delivered verbally, through body language, or via written communication such as an email or report.

Positive feedback encourages employees to continue doing something well and motivates them to do better in the future. It can also help boost confidence, increase motivation levels, and promote strong team bonds.

Why is positive feedback important?

Recognizing and celebrating individual strengths can profoundly impact motivation and engagement in any organization.

Positive feedback encourages employees to take on new responsibilities and challenges and gives them the confidence that their hard work will be acknowledged and rewarded. This, in turn, helps to build a positive team culture and drives better business results.

Additionally, giving employees positive feedback can help to build a culture of trust and respect. When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to be engaged with their work, leading to increased productivity and improved business results.

It can also be used as a tool for reinforcing a desired behavior. By acknowledging when employees do something well, managers can encourage more of that behavior in the future.

Positive feedback

When to give positive feedback

Positive feedback is an invaluable part of a positive learning and working environment. Providing positive feedback at the right moments can help individuals exceed their expectations by encouraging them to work hard and focus on solutions. Positive feedback is most effective when it’s timely and focused on the behavior or performance that needs to be praised. It should also include a few words about the great effort put into achieving the goal.

Positive feedback can be given in various situations such as when a team member surpasses their goals, makes an effort to learn a new skill, or demonstrates excellent leadership skills. It can also be given when a team member contributes ideas to a project or takes on extra responsibility, or when they successfully resolve a conflict.

How to give positive feedback

Positive feedback is essential for positive reinforcement. Everyone responds to positive feedback differently, so it’s important to approach each situation by staying in touch with the recipient and presenting positive feedback that is genuine and heartfelt.

  • Start by explaining what you appreciate about the person and their work, and be specific with compliments so they know exactly why they are being praised.
  • Follow up with concrete examples of how the individual’s actions positively impacted the team, organization, or project.
  • Encourage the person by speaking to their potential and offering them more opportunities for growth and development.
  • Close with positive reinforcement of the individual’s effort and remind them that their work is appreciated.
  • End the conversation positively by expressing your confidence in their abilities.


Positive feedback examples

The next time you speak with a colleague or staff member, consider using some positive feedback examples. Feedback is most impactful when it’s timely – no more annual performance reviews. Stay alert for occasions to provide uplifting and instantaneous affirmations. Take a look at the following positive feedback examples for employees:

An employee is being a good team player 

You just welcomed two new hires to your team, and one of your amazing employees stepped up in a big way – training them on the job and offering guidance throughout their onboarding process. Their initiative has made it easier for everyone when welcoming these fresh faces. You can give positive feedback in this situation by saying:

“Thank you so much for taking the initiative to help our new colleagues out. Your hard work is really appreciated, and you are a great team player!”

An employee has gone above and beyond on an important project

You gave one of your employees a challenging task, and they exceeded expectations to complete it. Give positive feedback in this situation by saying:

“The extra effort you put into this project was impressive. You delivered outstanding results, and your work has helped our team reach our goals. Great job!”

An employee has excelled despite a difficult situation

Your direct report has been working on a difficult project for a few months now. Despite the challenges, they kept their cool and focused on achieving success. Give positive feedback in this situation by saying:

“I’m so impressed with the way you handled this project. Even though there were some roadblocks along the way, you never gave up and kept striving for the best results. You have great leadership skills!”

An employee doing high-quality work

You noticed the quality of work your employee is producing has drastically improved. Give positive feedback in this situation.

“The quality of work you’ve been producing lately is outstanding. You truly put in the effort to ensure that every project you take on has a successful outcome. Keep up the great work!”

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An employee is coming up with innovative ideas

Your team member has been coming up with some great new ideas to help the company move forward. Give positive feedback in this situation by saying:

“Your ideas are really impressive! I’m so glad that you’ve been able to come up with creative solutions that can help us reach our goals faster. Your contributions are invaluable.”

An employee has taken on new responsibilities

One of your employees has taken on a few new responsibilities enthusiastically and is handling them well. Give positive feedback in this situation by saying:

“I’m really happy to see that you have taken on these new responsibilities so willingly. You have done an amazing job, and I’m sure you will continue to excel in this role. Keep up the good work!”

An employee has shown great improvement

You have noticed that one of your employees has been making a lot of progress in their work. Give positive feedback in this situation by saying:

“It’s been great to see you make so much progress recently. Your hard work and dedication have really paid off, and I’m sure you will continue to grow and improve in this role.”

An employee meets their goals 

As you assess this quarter’s performance of your team, a particular employee laid out ambitious expectations. Doubts lingered as to whether they would be able to accomplish these goals or not. However, that person has amazed you and exceeded all expected results. Give positive feedback in this situation by saying:

“I’m so proud of you for meeting your goals on this project. You’ve worked hard and have shown incredible resilience. Your efforts are truly commendable!”

An employee is helping the team reach goals

You’ve noticed that one of your team members has been going out of their way to help the team reach its goals. Give positive feedback in this situation by saying:

“You’re doing a great job of helping the team reach its goals. Your commitment to our success is admirable, and I really appreciate it. Keep up the good work!”

Positive feedback examples for teammates

A teammate helped figure out a tough problem 

You and your teammate had been working on a difficult problem for weeks and finally figured it out.

“I’m really impressed with the way you were able to figure out this problem. Your perseverance and dedication are admirable, and I’m glad that you are part of the team.”

A teammate went above and beyond for a project 

One of your teammates had put in extra effort for a project and completed it to a high standard.

“I’m so glad that you were willing to take on extra responsibilities for this project. You did an amazing job and went above and beyond what was expected of you – I really appreciate it!”

Positive feedback examples for direct reports

A direct report learned a new skill 

Your organization has always placed a high priority on learning and professional development. Despite the challenges of making time for new skills, one of your direct reports recently enrolled in an online course to learn about coding language – this commendable effort led to invaluable upskilling that positively contributed back to their team.

“I’m really proud of you for taking the initiative to learn a new skill. You have shown great commitment and it will be an asset to our team in the long run. Keep up the good work!”

A direct report is feeling burnt out 

Your employee is doing their best to handle caregiving responsibilities for both the elderly and young, all while managing a workload that has recently intensified due to high-priority deliverables. With everything on their plate, they are at risk of succumbing to caregiver burnout – potentially even affecting how successful they are in work as well. It’s important that you assist them in making sure their well-being remains top priority so they can reach peak performance levels.

“You’ve been pouring your heart and soul into everything you do, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. You don’t need to show anyone how hardworking you are today – there’s no pressure on that front. Instead, let yourself off the hook by dedicating this day to self-care; prioritize some time for yourself! Your team is here for support with tasks too if that helps lighten any load of stress or worry.”

A direct report successfully completed a challenging project 

Your team member was tasked with completing a very challenging project and they managed to deliver it on time and with excellent results.

“Your performance on this project was exemplary! You managed to take on the challenge head-on and deliver a great outcome. You should be proud of yourself for all your hard work.”

Possitive feedback

A word from SublimePeople

Praising someone for a job well done is one of the most important tools you have as a manager. When delivered effectively, positive feedback can motivate your employees, foster a positive work environment, and improve communication across your team. The next time you need to give feedback, use these tips and examples to deliver a message that will help develop a winning team.

You might also be interested in 14 methods to motivate your team.