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16 Positive Feedback Examples That Nurture a Culture of Recognition

16 Positive Feedback Examples That Nurture a Culture of Recognition

How often do we all say “thanks” at work? Our guess would be pretty often, and that’s great! But a few simple thank yous don’t have much of an impact compared to a well-rooted culture of recognition, and sometimes we need to find a little inspiration from positive feedback examples to know exactly what to say.

The business case for positive feedback is simple; recognition is low cost, high impact. Yet despite that, when one study asked employees what they thought leaders could do to improve engagement, 58% said “give recognition”. So there’s still plenty of room to boost our positive feedback efforts and reap the benefits.

Positive feedback isn’t just for performance reviews; studies have shown that recognition is most effective when it happens immediately, regularly and consistently. A few simple words can mean the difference between feeling valued or outright fed-up, which is why a culture of recognition is so important. 

But mastering the art of impactful recognition when it’s not already ingrained in culture can be a difficult shift to make; so settle in for plenty of positive feedback examples inspired by #TeamHive! But first…

Why is positive feedback important?

You can’t buy better job satisfaction. Reward budgets are great, but positive feedback costs just a few seconds of time. And it really works; a Gallup survey found that 67% of employees whose managers give positive feedback were fully engaged in their work (savings… tick!). 

Gallup also found that the most meaningful recognition comes from an employee’s line manager—shortly followed by a senior leader or CEO—and is honest, authentic and individualised to how each person prefers to receive recognition. And the beauty of receiving feedback from above is that managers and leaders can encourage behaviours that align with organisational values.

Positive feedback benefits everyone: the recipient gets an instant wellbeing boost as they feel appreciated, motivated and hungry for more; the giver gets that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with making someone else happy; the relationship between the two is strengthened; and the organisation benefits from a happier, more engaged and more united workforce.

Positive feedback examples

While giving positive feedback might sound wonderfully simple to some, it doesn’t come naturally to everyone (and that’s okay!).

Positive feedback needs to be more informal, more frequent (not just in annual reviews!) and without an agenda. Maybe the answer lies in celebrating smaller, day-to-day wins; it’s easy to celebrate huge achievements visible across the entire organisation, but a lot of hard work can fly under the radar for most. 

We have a huge culture of recognition here at Hive and we’re pretty proud of that, so the positive feedback examples we’re bringing you today are inspired by Hive Fives—our own recognition tool that we use internally, too—that have done the rounds recently.  Wondering what Hive Fives look like? 

Hive Homepage Hive Fives 2020 Cards

So let’s dive in; make sure to keep an eye on the scenario headers and top tips to find the exact inspiration you’re looking for today! And don’t forget to share our feedback examples with your leaders, managers and teams to help kickstart your culture of recognition 👇

For achieving goals

1. “A massive thank you for all of your help collecting the data points and the content for the board meeting. I was really pleased with how the presentation landed and hung together. It wouldn't have been as slick if it wasn't for your assistance and input. Thank you!”

For great collaboration

2. “Your willingness and ability to collaborate with other teams is something we can all learn from. Thank you for offering up your time to help others do their role better through sharing your knowledge, like sharing your insights with the sales team so they could better understand customer needs and why they love working with us.”

Start making data-driven decisions about the future of your organisation


Call out any behaviours you want to see more of! Take collaboration as an example; if you feel like collaboration is something your teams need to improve, make sure to give positive feedback when it’s done well to encourage more of it.

For going above and beyond

3. “What a week! I'm really proud of the work you've put into arguably the best tender submission we’ve ever drafted. You've done an amazing job of spinning that plate along with numerous demos, follow-ups and proposals. You're doing an awesome job and I'm delighted to have you in our team. Enjoy the weekend, you've earned it!”

For day-to-day tasks

4. “I loved listening back on your recent discovery call. Your authenticity puts people at ease right away, your personality shines through and you show such a great understanding of our offer. You actively listen to what each organisation is trying to achieve and tie everything together so well. Well done!”


Be consistent and fair with your positive feedback. Keep an eye on who you’re giving feedback to and how regularly it’s happening so you don’t only dish it out to a handful of people. Everyone deserves to be recognised for their day-to-day work.

For delighting customers

5. “You always work so passionately to make sure our customers get the best experience and insight and they really are reaping the rewards from your efforts! I love working collaboratively with you, you're always so authentic and enthusiastic. So glad you've had some great feedback from customers too as it's so deserved.”

For striving to learn and develop

6. “It’s fantastic to see how committed you are to learning and I wanted to recognise your commitment and effort to learning new parts of our system that you don’t normally have to tackle. Your enthusiasm and drive to learn learn learn is inspiring, and well done for hitting your first milestone on the project!”


If you have any results, figures or similar that show the positive impact someone’s had, tie that directly into your feedback to really back up what you’re saying.

For taking on new responsibilities (and smashing it!)

7. “You’ve done an incredible job taking on new responsibilities and stepping up to your new role. Leading and shaping a brand new team is a real challenge and you’ve taken everything in your stride. I’m really looking forward to continuing to develop the team alongside you and see how much further you succeed.”
8. “Your management of the team has been unreal since taking on that responsibility. The team all trust and respect you, and rightly so. Alongside the continuous improvements of reporting templates and content, smashing customer delivery and event speaking sessions just shows how invaluable you are to the organisation!”


Don’t be vague! If you have specific things you can reference in your feedback—like recognising the mountain of tasks that Jen takes on—then make sure to use them.

For making an amazing start in their role

9. “I wanted to say a massive thank you for the support you have given me and the team over recent weeks since you joined the business. I love that you’ve taken the time to speak to everyone individually, you’ve made a great impact in such a short period of time and I’m absolutely loving your work.”
10. “Your creativity has been excellent this week and I'm really happy that you've got off to such a strong start. The calls I've listened to have been great and getting so many great responses in your first live week is absolutely fantastic. Keep up the good work!”


Don’t use the “feedback sandwich” every single time you give positive feedback—aka don’t butter up negative feedback by throwing in a few compliments on either side. A few of those and the next time you say something positive, people will wonder “uh oh, what have I done this time?”. It’s okay to just be positive!

For making excellent career progress

11. “It fills me with pride to see how much you’ve grown. The latest work you have done for our customers is outstanding and gives them so much value. But more than that you have thrown yourself into the role, networked to get the answers you need for yourself and shown so many great qualities!”
12. “You got dropped into handling a lot of the marketing content needs on your own without much warning and you've absolutely smashed it! I never doubted that you would either! You're incredibly organised and so good at what you do even though the bulk of it goes under the radar for most people.”


Be sincere; if you’re giving feedback just for the sake of it—rather than being genuinely impressed or thankful—it will show. Sincerity is key!

For taking care of others

13. “Checking up on people is a real show of genuine kindness. It’s so lovely to be in a workplace that prioritises mental health and wellbeing and this sort of support from coworkers helps people feel seen is absolutely invaluable. It speaks volumes about your character; thank you.”

For being a supportive coworker

14. “Thank you for always being on hand to offer help. Your support recently has been nothing short of incredible, answering questions and being flexible with your time! I especially appreciate you coming up with new ways of working and trying to make my role easier for me as my role adapts and changes.”


Recognising personality traits or attitudes is just as important; people want to feel valued for who they are, not just what they do, so make sure to give positive feedback when you can.

15. “Thank you so much for helping out with my customers while I've been away. It’s such a good feeling to know that we can take time out when needed and the team are here to not just support our customers but support each other too.“

For strong values

16. “The amount of good causes you promote and the resources you share with everyone is nothing short of inspirational. Your commitment to helping us all grow shows how caring and thoughtful you are, which shines through in everything you do!”


Use your positive feedback to enforce positive values and behaviours that align with the organisation. Values-driving recognition can only encourage others to act or do the same—win-win!

Putting your positive feedback examples into action

The way you use these positive feedback examples will depend on 1) what you’re trying to achieve and 2) who you’re giving it to. Think about how they would prefer to receive it and answer the question: would they like it to be private or public?

One study on reward and recognition showed that 43% of people prefer to receive recognition privately in a one-on-one situation with their manager and only 9% would prefer recognition privately in written form, like a direct email.

But what about public feedback? Positive news and achievements should be celebrated by people across the business if you’re really going to nail down a culture of recognition.

It might feel like a bit of a balancing act, but when you know people well enough to understand what they would and wouldn’t appreciate, you can consider a few ways to get positive feedback out there. From publicly in company meetings or internal comms blasts to everyone, to one-on-one meetings or well-written emails, your options are endless!

Ready to nurture your culture of recognition? If you’re interested in seeing how Hive Fives work—our peer-recognition tool—give us a shout and we can show you how you can customise categories to align with your values and spread some well-needed positivity with a public status board!

Further reading…

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