How to Give Employee Feedback: Examples & Best Practices


Getting the best out of an employee requires more than giving that person orders. They need direction, of course, but employee feedback creates a conversation that educates both the employee and the employer. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship based on trust, communication and career advancement.

What Is Employee Feedback?

Employee feedback is the exchange of information between an employee and an employer. It can be formal, as in a sit-down meeting or written document, but however it’s done the use of employee feedback is critical to create the best work environment in which all parties benefit.

Employee feedback should be respectful and tactfully done. It can also set up actions that result in both the employee and the employer getting more out of their relationship.

ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that has unlimited file storage to capture employee feedback and the features to implement whatever action plan is decided on. Our multiple project views let employers and employees work on the tools they’re comfortable with.

ProjectManager's task lists let you give employee feedback in real time
ProjectManager’s task lists let you track the performance of each team member in real-time. Learn more

Why Is Employee Feedback Important?

Employee feedback is important as it helps make workers feel heard and part of the company, rather than cogs in the machine just cashing a paycheck. This empowers employees to work harder and gives them buy-in to that work, which pleases the employer as it leads to greater productivity.

Showing interest in the work and opinions of employees builds their trust and helps with employee retention. By giving employees a sense of their skills and strengths and listening to their suggestions, which are often very helpful as they’re on the front lines of the company, you give them a sense of value and pride in the work.

Types of Employee Feedback

There are many types of employee feedback, from informal to formal, but let’s take a look at just two types of employee feedback and explain what they are.

Positive Feedback

This is where you recognize and appreciate the accomplishments of an employee. It’s often only when they do something wrong that an employer will engage with the employee. This is a mistake. Praise the employee for meeting a milestone, getting work done before the deadline or under budget. Positive feedback is powerful in motivating employees.

Constructive Feedback

Of course, there are times when an employee makes a mistake or an issue arises that must be addressed by the employee. In these cases, constructive feedback is critical to noting the problem and offering a solution without alienating the employee to the point that morale erodes and their work suffers.

10 Employee Feedback Examples

Here are 10 team feedback examples you can use to give feedback to your employees.

Positive Feedback Examples

  • “Great work on that project. It came in early and the quality was outstanding.”
  • “I appreciate that you’re always here on time and ready to work.”
  • “Thanks for staying a bit after work to get that product out the door. I appreciate the extra work you put into it.”
  • “You always have a smile on your face, which is infectious and keeps everyone at work in good spirits.”
  • “Thanks for pointing out that inefficiency. We’ve taken your advice and improved production because of your input. We appreciate your insights.”

Constructive Feedback Examples

  • “The quality of your work is outstanding, but you’re spending too much time on details that aren’t that important. Try focusing on the bigger points.”
  • “I appreciate that the day is long and we’re all tied by five and want to go home, but when there’s work on deadline that’s not completed by the end of day, it requires staying late to finish it.”
  • “You do great work, but we’re a customer-facing organization and we need you to present yourself in a professional manner. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you to help make that happen.”
  • “You need to be at work at nine, but you’ve been late. If there’s anything going on that you need help with, please let me know. I’ll do what I can, but it’s not fair to the rest of the team who are starting on time.”
  • “I was watching you on the production line. You’re doing a great job. Let me show you a few tricks to get the widget down the line faster.”

Video: How to Give Employee Feedback

Learn the art of constructive feedback when managing your team in this short video with project management trainer Jennifer Bridges.

Jennifer discussed the oftentimes nerve-wracking process of providing feedback, positive or negative. It’s one of the most difficult aspects of managing people, and definitely is part art and part science.

Jennifer recommends providing feedback after the dust has settled. In the midst of a work crisis, when tensions are running high, is not usually the best to for any feedback to be received. Rather, it’s ideal to establish a time for a one-on-one.

Employee Feedback Tips

She recommends the following tips you should follow before you even decide to provide feedback:

  • Have a clear objective: Know why you’re providing the feedback. What’s the intended result? Is this for their benefit to grow in their work? Or is it to make you feel like you’re on top of your team? Check yourself before you speak to ask whether you’ve thought through the reason for providing the feedback thoroughly.
  • Notify your employees beforehand: Give your employees a heads-up. If the feedback is part of your normal formal review process, adequate notice is a common courtesy to let them know that you’ll be providing feedback. It’s also a good practice to be open to listening to their feedback, so giving them time to prepare is best.
  • Start with the positive: It’s good to acknowledge people for all the good things they do. Team leaders that are always finding the negatives will only be avoided, so acknowledge the things that they’re doing well. Start with something positive whether it’s a deliverable or behavior: ‘I noticed you did this part of this deliverable really well, but it looked like you were struggling with another piece,’ so start with a positive.
  • Ask questions: If you’re talking about a deliverable, have them start with, ‘Tell me about the deliverable that you are working with?’ ‘Tell me more about the group that you’re working with to get this deliverable done.’ Have them open up, so start with a dialogue. I’ve found that many times I go into a situation thinking that I have all of my information correct and accurate, and maybe I have received that information from other resources besides this person. It’s always great to get the other side of the coin, their perspective, and maybe some additional facts before you start with constructive feedback. You may open up and find some other information you weren’t aware of.
  • Be candid and specific: It’s good to be candid; you want to tell the truth about what it is you’re addressing and be specific. Avoid being general with statements such as ‘You’re really upsetting the team.’ If they ask for a specific example and you cannot give it, it’s hard to remain credible and trustworthy yourself, so give them specifics. Let them know how that impacted the project, a person on the team, the team itself, or that specific organization. Address whether it’s a deliverable they aren’t producing or a behavior.
  • Offer suggestions and support: To hit someone over the head and just leave them there isn’t the best approach. Give them some suggestions. Let them know, ‘This has happened to me too. I remember I did that several times on our other project, and that was a lesson learned for me. These are some things that I tried that really helped me in those areas.’ Give them something to work with, give them a suggestion or offer support, ‘Let me know how I can support you. Let me know if you need any additional training. If that person keeps bothering you on the team or that other organization, come back and let me know. I’ll talk to their manager.’ That way, you’re addressing something that they don’t have to address.
  • Offer next steps: Once you’ve addressed the specific scenario, and you’ve offered some suggestions or maybe some other resources, follow up so that you aren’t leaving them hanging. Treat it more like a developmental opportunity. You can follow up and let them know that you’re concerned and supportive. You’re not just harassing them about something.
  • End with something positive: Again, these are people on our team, and we want to establish and nurture good relationships. They’re good team members and require support.

Offer up tangible solutions or offer to brainstorm solutions together. Providing feedback without clear takeaways isn’t helpful and isn’t likely to produce any results. We hope you found this whiteboard session useful. Thanks for watching!