constructive feedback examples

24 Constructive Feedback Examples for Employee Reviews

Constructive feedback is a powerful way to build strong relationships and inspire your team to greatness. But there’s more to it than just spouting a lot of hollow platitudes. Your feedback has to be genuine, focused, and delivered so as to achieve a positive outcome.

In this article, we discuss what you can say to build up your team rather than tearing it down and give you a bunch of constructive feedback examples to get you started.

Table of contents

What is constructive feedback?

constructive feedback examples

Constructive feedback is the process of delivering work-related comments, advice, and suggestions in a way that motivates your employees to get better at what they do.

The goal of your feedback can be anything you want — improving behavior, refining processes, working on weaknesses, or adopting new perspectives.

It doesn’t matter what purpose you have in mind as long as what you say (and how you say it) is constructive rather than destructive. When the message you deliver becomes more negative than positive, it’s no longer constructive feedback — it’s criticism.

Constructive feedback vs. criticism

When it comes to constructive feedback vs. criticism, it can be difficult to see the difference sometimes. At its most basic, though, criticism is rarely productive and can actually do more harm than good.

That’s a very general way of thinking about the subject, but it serves as a solid foundation on which to base your understanding of feedback vs. criticism.

Here are five more differences between feedback and criticism that build on this concept of personal and professional productivity:

  • Feedback focuses on what you want to happen. Criticism focuses on what you don’t want to happen.
  • Feedback focuses on the future. Criticism focuses on the past.
  • Feedback focuses on building up strengths. Criticism focuses on highlighting weaknesses.
  • Feedback inspires. Criticism deflates.
  • Feedback says, “We can work together to make this better.” Criticism says, “You are the problem.”

To help you get a better sense of how to structure and present your comments so as to build up rather than criticize, below are some constructive feedback examples you can use verbatim or customize for your own purposes.

Constructive feedback examples

Manager giving constructive feedback

We’ve divided these examples into distinct categories so you can find what you need and zero in on the positive message you want to send.


1) You’ve been doing a great job meeting your goals, but it looks like you fell a bit short this past quarter. Are there any obstacles preventing you from succeeding? What would you need to overcome them?

2) I noticed that you didn’t quite meet the expectations we set for this period. Are there any aspects of the things we discussed that you don’t understand?

3) You fell a bit short of your targets this month. Do you think the goals we set were realistic? What changes can we make to help you succeed next month?


4) This past year, your performance reviews were excellent. So far this year, though, you’re a bit behind those previous numbers. Has something changed that caused this drop?

5) Since the end of the most recent project, it appears that your performance scores have taken a dip. Is there anything we can do to help you get back on track?

6) I’ve noticed that your output has been lower than normal these past few weeks. Do you need a change of pace or a break to help you recharge?


Three coworkers smiling and giving thumbs up

7) Last week during our meeting, you confronted Tim about some mistakes he made that you had to fix. While we appreciate that you took the initiative to help, your language and tone when talking to Tim were a little unprofessional. Do you recall what you said?

8) I’ve noticed that you’ve been having some bad days lately. Some of your coworkers have even expressed a reluctance to work with you because of your negativity. Can you remember an instance when this happened? Is there something we can do to help you be more positive?

9) It’s come to my attention that you and Jen have had some personal conflicts recently. I understand that some personality types don’t mix, but our goal should always be to work well as a team. Is there anything I can do to help resolve the issue?


10) HR has informed me that you’ve had quite a few unexcused absences in the past six months. Normally, your attendance is excellent. Is there a reason you’ve had trouble getting to work?

11) I noticed that you clocked in late three times last week and twice the week before that. Is there a reason you’re having trouble arriving on time? Are you happy with your current schedule and responsibilities?

12) Last Friday, you missed the start of a meeting and then left early that afternoon. We certainly want you to have a comfortable work-life balance, but we also need you to adhere to our expectations for time management. Is there something we can do to help?


13) Overall, the quality of your work is excellent, but a few minor errors keep creeping in. Is there a step we can add to the process to help you catch those errors and make your work error-free?

14) You’ve got a lot on your plate right now, but I’ve noticed you’re making some repeated mistakes that result in more work for your coworkers. Do you know what those mistakes are? How can I help you avoid them?

15) While you’re normally very accurate, your performance numbers have dropped lately. Is there anything I can do to help you get your accuracy back up?


Leadership giving constructive feedback examples

16) An employee resigned last month and cited difficulty with management as a reason. Were you aware of any problems she was having? Did she ever discuss this with you?

17) Last week, you reprimanded Rebekah a bit harshly in front of other members of the team. I understand why you did it, but it may be better to talk with her in private next time. Do you understand why?

18) Your department’s performance metrics were lower than predicted. As the leader of the team, can you help me understand what happened and how we can turn it around?


19) When issues arise that don’t have an obvious next step, I’ve noticed that you adopt a wait-and-see attitude rather than trying to solve the problem. Is there a reason you don’t feel like taking the initiative?

20) You are excellent at communicating with your team leader, but too much communication can slow down the process. Is there something we can do to help you have more confidence in your problem-solving abilities?

21) We appreciate that you follow protocols and procedures whenever possible. But, in scenarios where we haven’t set the next step, we would like for you to handle it on your own. Is there something we can do to help you in this regard?


22) I appreciate all the great written communication you provide, but I’ve noticed that you rarely speak up in meetings even if you have information to contribute. Why is that? Is there anything I can do to help you feel more comfortable sharing?

23) This team email you sent yesterday wasn’t as clear as it could have been. Would you mind taking a moment, rereading the text, and then explaining to me what you meant so we can avoid any misunderstandings?

24) I noticed that you held back relating some information at yesterday’s meeting. Was this intentional? Is there something I can do to make it safer for you to share?

Inspiring your team to greatness

Meeting on constructive feedback examples

Using these constructive feedback examples can be an effective way to improve the way your team works. More than that, though, positive feedback can help forge strong employee/employer relationships and inspire your employees to greatness.

In fact, the more you communicate with your employees — be it through constructive feedback or by getting to know them better — the stronger your team will be.

The Sling app can help with all aspects of communication, including scheduling, tracking time and attendance, keeping your team on task, and much more.

Sign up for a free trial and discover the many ways that Sling can make your job — and your team’s job — easier and more productive.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit today.

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Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal, accounting, tax, HR, or other professional advice. You should contact your attorney or other relevant advisor for advice specific to your circumstances.

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