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Effective compliments for greater appreciation at work

Learn how to effectively show appreciation at work through compliments. Boost motivation, teamwork, and productivity with these tips and examples.


Jun 26, 2024

Giving compliments at work is a powerful way to show appreciation for your colleagues and/or employees. By using the tips, tops and examples from this blog, you can ensure that you give compliments in an effective way and increase the positive impact of it within your organization! Below we teach you how best to give compliments to your employees and colleagues. We explain what it’s best not to say and we give some examples of compliments you can give at work.

Expressing appreciation – the power of a compliment

When employees feel appreciated, they are more motivated and perform better. Not surprisingly, organizations that value their employees have higher productivity, higher engagement and better performance. Moreover, giving compliments can strengthen team spirit and improve relationships between colleagues. In this way, giving compliments plays a crucial role in creating a positive work culture and retaining employees.
The positive influences of appreciation can be explained using “Social exchange theory” (Blau, 1964). When the employee experiences benefits, for example in the form of a compliment, an employee subconsciously reacts positively to this. This then manifests itself through higher commitment and involvement in the workplace.

5 TIPS – How to give good compliments at work

Tip 1: Show sincerity

Compliments should be sincere. Giving false compliments can backfire and negatively affect the motivation and performance of colleagues and employees.

Tip 2: Be specific

Be specific about what you appreciate and why. This will help colleagues and employees recognize their strengths and focus and develop accordingly.

Tip 3: Time carefully

Choose the right time to give a compliment. Don’t wait too long! If you appreciate an employee or colleague, compliment them right away. This shows that you appreciate their work and encourages them to continue on this path.

Tip 4: Be personal

While it may be tempting to send a quick compliment via email or chat, it is better to do it in person. This gives the recipient a chance to see and feel your genuine appreciation.

Tip 5: Listen intently

Listen to the person’s reaction to the compliment. Give the person time to respond and appreciate his or her reaction.

Considerations for compliments at work

So giving and receiving feedback is essential if you want to encourage professional and personal development. But some people find it exciting to do, especially if the feedback is not necessarily positive. So how can you ensure that your employees can easily give each other feedback?

  • Avoid comparisons
    Compliment someone’s performance without comparing it to others. By making comparisons, a compliment can actually backfire.
  • Using compliments to manipulate
    Compliments should not be used as a manipulation technique to obtain or achieve something. This can lead to mistrust and disrespect.
  • Inappropriate compliments
    Avoid compliments that may be inappropriate or offensive. This can lead to uncomfortable situations or conflict. Keep compliments work-related.

Examples of compliments in the workplace

Giving compliments is a simple and effective way to express appreciation for employees and colleagues. Below we list a few examples for you.

  • How nice that you prepared the meeting of ….. so well, this made it go smoothly and structured. Because of this we can really rely on you, thank you for that!
  • What good and creative ideas you just had in our brainstorming session. With this you inspired the whole team to think further and the session was very useful. Keep up the good work!
  • I really like that you are so enthusiastic and cheerful, because of this I also enjoy my work more. I really appreciate this!
  • Your intelligence and competence allow me to entrust this task to you. You are a great indispensable team member!
    Because you were open to the points of me and (name of colleague) in that conflict and build a bridge, we came out together. Thank you for your wonderful cooperation!
  • How nice that you were able to stay an extra hour yesterday to complete our important assignment. I appreciate your drive and perseverance!

By using the 2DAYSMOOD tool, you can measure the extent to which your employees feel appreciated. Are you curious about the tool and how it can contribute to this?
Request a free demo here!

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