Career Development

How to Compliment Your Coworkers Genuinely (with Examples of Good Workplace Compliments)

September 9, 2020

Compliments are a great way to show kindness to others both in and out of the workplace. While at work, you can express your gratitude by admiring someone’s dedication, telling them you enjoyed their great presentation or noting their enthusiasm. If you’re in a managerial role, it’s especially important to make an effort to praise your employees for their continued work. In this article, we will define what a compliment is and how best to craft professional and genuine compliments for your coworkers.

What is a compliment?

A compliment is a polite expression that shows your praise and admiration for an individual. Compliments in the workplace are a kind way to express your gratitude and appreciation over someone’s personality traits or work ethic. It’s important that compliments come from the heart, are truthful and are executed professionally in the workplace.

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How to think of good compliments for coworkers

While it may seem easier to give compliments outside of the workplace, understanding the steps to consider when giving a workplace compliment will ensure your expressions of gratitude are met with a smile. Here are several steps to consider when providing your coworkers with positive praise:

  1. Consider the recipient.
  2. Make sure your compliment is specific.
  3. Be professional.

1. Consider the recipient.

The compliment you give should depend not only on the person but their role in the company, as well. Is the person you’re complimenting your manager, your teammate or your employee? Knowing this will help you determine how to compliment them and what to compliment them for. For example, here are some examples you’d give to your manager, teammate and employee:

  • For your manager:  “Thank you for teaching me how to use the new content management system. I appreciate the time you took to show me how the articles will be formatted from now on.”

  • For your teammate: “I enjoyed your presentation and the insight you provided. I’ve heard many people say they appreciated hearing your perspective, as well!”

  • For your employee:  “I love your creativity. The minimal and abstract aesthetic you used in that logo is really effective in encompassing the company’s motto.”

2. Make sure your compliment is specific.

A specific compliment proves your praise came from the heart and that you truly mean it. For example, instead of saying “Great work,” you could say, “Great work on the brand campaign today. Your creativity and passion for the project really made a difference in the execution.”

3. Be professional.

While compliments outside of the workplace tend to be more casual, it’s important that the compliments you give your coworkers are formal and polite. Remember the workplace environment, those around you and what you’re complimenting them on. It’s also important to consider the time and place when giving your coworker a compliment. Make sure you give your compliment at an appropriate time, especially if you give it in a public setting.

Related: [The Ultimate Guide to Professionalism](**

Examples of compliments

The compliment you give in the workplace should depend on the recipient. Make sure they embody the actions you’re praising them for. Here are 10 examples of professional compliments you can give your coworkers:

Example 1:  “Nice job on your presentation.”

If you have a coworker who is generally shy or has expressed nervousness before an interview, complimenting them on a job well done could give them the confidence they need to perform well in their next public speaking engagement.

Example 2: “You’re a great communicator.”

Being a good communicator is vital in any workplace. Giving this compliment means you appreciate the way they speak with intent and clarity.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Example 3: “I love your confidence.”

This is an especially good compliment to give when you see a shy member of your team display self-confidence. Sometimes the best compliments are the ones that are unexpected. Receiving this compliment can help you encourage a coworker to believe in themselves more strongly in the future.

Related: How to Build Self Confidence: 5 Key Tips

Example 4: “You ask insightful questions.”

Complimenting someone for the questions they ask you means you value their interest and concern over a particular topic. Taking the time to appreciate their questions is a great way to boost their confidence.

Example 5: “You’re very creative.”

This is a good compliment to give when you admire someone’s artistic abilities or way of thinking. While this compliment is generally reserved for an employee in a creative profession, there are several ways to utilize it in other industries, as well. For example, you could praise someone’s creative ability to boost their department’s low sales figures.

Example 6: “I appreciate your enthusiasm.”

While it may be easy for some people to display their enthusiasm regularly, providing this compliment to your shy team members is a great way to express your appreciation for their positive and energizing demeanor. Not only are they enjoying their job, but they’ll enjoy receiving this compliment, too.

Example 7: “Thank you for providing a unique perspective.”

With so many different personalities and opinions in the workplace, it’s important to recognize an individual’s insight. Try to mention an instance or project in which you appreciated their opinion in particular. Though most people shy away from being too opinionated, praising them for their boldness and perspective will go a long way.

Example 8: “Thank you for being flexible.”

This is a great compliment to give to a coworker when they were able to think quickly and work around a particular situation. For example, if a coworker’s schedule had to change due to unforeseen circumstances, you can commend them for their flexibility. Knowing you appreciate their flexibility could empower them to strengthen that characteristic in the future.

Example 9: “Keep up the great work.”

Every employee wants to know that they’re performing well at their job. Recognizing their strengths and abilities in the workplace is a great way to boost their confidence. This could lead to your company’s continued success, as well. If your coworker just completed a large and troublesome project, this compliment will go a long way.

Example 10: “We appreciate your reliability.”

This is a great compliment to give to someone who you can depend on and who always shows up. If someone has been continuously out sick and your coworker has taken on their responsibilities, for example, you could provide them with this compliment.