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?
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
For great collaboration
🔥 TOP TIP
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
For day-to-day tasks
🔥 TOP TIP
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
For striving to learn and develop
🔥 TOP TIP
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!)
🔥 TOP TIP
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
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
🔥 TOP TIP
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
For being a supportive coworker
🔥 TOP TIP
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.
For strong values
🔥 TOP TIP
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!
The Power of Employee Voice
How an open and honest culture drives employee experience and organisational performance
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!