Examples of Positive Work Words To Inspire Your Team

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 28, 2022 | Published May 25, 2021

Updated October 28, 2022

Published May 25, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: How to Motivate Employees with Dr. Athina Kanioura of PepsiCo

As Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer at Pepsico, Dr. Athina makes it her mission to keep her employees motivated so they can find true success in their roles.

Managers use various tools to increase productivity and job satisfaction for the employees on their teams. A useful tool for motivating employees is positive language, which you may use to describe an employee's accomplishments or character. As a manger, it's often important to understand how you can use positive words in the workplace to create a pleasant environment for your team members. In this article, we discuss positive work words you can use for your team in various situations, including descriptions of when to use them and why they may be useful.

What are positive work words?

Positive work words are encouraging and respectful expressions you can use in the workplace to create a welcoming culture. Choosing positive and affirmative language in a management position encourages your employees to perform better, shows gratitude for their efforts and establishes healthy relationships between colleagues. You may use these words in various situations like discussing an employee's progress during regular meetings, describing qualities you look for in a candidate for a role and defining the culture of your workplace for interested candidates.

Positive words to describe a work environment

Here are some examples of words to use when describing your positive work environment or company culture to candidates:

  • Engaging

  • Rewarding

  • Supportive

  • Honest

  • Humorous

  • Fun

  • Productive

  • Compassionate

  • Flexible

  • Empowering

  • Devoted

  • Sustainable

  • Powerful

  • Successful

  • Welcoming

  • Generous

Read more: Positive Working Environment: Definition and Characteristics

Positive words to motivate employees

The following words may help you describe an employee's progress to motivate them to continue improving:

  • Commited

  • Progressive

  • Growth-centered

  • Goal-oriented

  • Reliable

  • Enthusiastic

  • High-quality

  • Skilled

  • Ambitious

  • Innovative

  • Independent

  • Eager

  • Inspired

  • Appreciative

  • Thoughtful

Positive words for a resume

Consider the following positive words when reviewing a candidate's resume or creating your own to find a new job:

  • Collaborative

  • Adaptable

  • Focused

  • Experienced

  • Confident

  • Leadership ability

  • Creative

  • Dedicated

  • Empathetic

  • Loyal

  • Energetic

  • Composed

  • Service-driven

  • Organized

  • Charmismatic

  • Consistent

Related: 5 Tips for Staying Positive During an Interview

18 words to promote a positive workplace culture

It's important to use positive language when talking to employees to improve their job satisfaction and increase productivity. As you meet with employees or candidates, think about describing them with these positive words to make them feel respected and valued in your company's culture:

1. Sincere

Describing a colleague or team member as sincere shows you recognize how much they value their quality or work and interactions with people. Sincerity is a positive attribute for many employees, but it's especially useful for people who work in customer service or other customer-centric positions. When you describe an employee in this way, it shows them that their interactions with customers and colleagues are useful in the workplace.

2. Aspirational

An aspirational employee is one who seeks knowledge and to learn more skills, so this positive descriptor shows appreciation for employees who want to better themselves. Using this positive word in the workplace makes your team members feel more comfortable striving to reach their goals, get promotions or raises and gain experience. Employees who you describe as aspirational may work harder to reach goals and impress you.

Related: Interview Question: What Are Your Career Aspirations? (With Answers)

3. Involved

An employee who gets involved with work activities can create more positive outcomes for your company. These employees may make more of an effort to learn about your company, their role and how to improve the workplace. Encouraging employees to get involved may lead to them helping new employees more, contributing to meetings and addressing workplace concerns without being told.

4. Talented

Being described as talented can encourage your team members to work harder and have confidence in their skills and abilities. This positive word may make an employee feel proud of their abilities and help them perform their work duties more easily. Telling an employee you're grateful for their talent may also lead them to share their knowledge with their team members, which leads to better relationships and increased productivity.

5. Efficient

Efficiency is a positive trait that you may use to describe employees who produce quick and quality work in their role. Praising this desirable trait positively helps employees understand your expectations and how they can continue exceeding those expectations with efficient work. This allows employees to measure their success and ensure they're meeting their goals and objectives on time.

6. Passionate

Describing an employee as passionate is a positive way to show you value their work ethic and enjoyment of their job. This passion can help them perform their duties better, learn new things more quickly and support customers or clients more effectively while maintaining their job satisfaction and overall happiness. Try to show your passionate employees that they're valuable assets for your team.

7. Genuine

It's important to have genuine, trustworthy employees on your team, so consider showing your gratitude when an employee is genuine with you, their colleagues and customers or clients. A genuine team member may be honest about their concerns, which can help you improve the work environment, and can often connect more deeply with others. Having genuine employees can enhance the mood of their colleagues and increase positive work outcomes.

8. Strategic

If you value the strategic employees on your team, describe to them how they improve your team and encourage them to keep learning ways to strategize for your company. When you use positive language to praise these employees, you may inspire them to improve workplace productivity, quality or efficiency. Creating a healthy relationship with strategic employees may also make them feel more comfortable offering solutions or ideas to you.

Related: 5 Tips For How To Think Strategically at Work

9. Responsible

You may describe an employee as responsible if they complete their work on time, take responsibility for their actions and handle concerns professionally. Telling these employees that you appreciate how responsible they are makes them feel respected and helps them understand what they're doing right for your team. Responsible employees often help their team members and keep workflows smooth, so consider thanking them for their contributions with positive language.

10. Personable

Being personable is another way to describe employees to create a positive relationship. Personable employees are friendly and cooperative with colleagues, customers and clients, which improves your company's reputation and the environment of your workplace. Consider complimenting these employees on how personable they are and describing the value they bring to your team.

11. Professional

A professional employee performs their work well, follows workplace rules and interacts appropriately with their colleagues. Tell employees like this that you appreciate their professionalism and ability to stay calm and civil under pressure or new situations. Helping these employees understand their contributions to your workplace may encourage them to continue acting professionally and performing at their best.

12. Patient

Patience is a positive attribute for employees in many fields, and it's important to show your team members how much their patience helps your team succeed. This is especially important in jobs that work directly with customers or clients as patient employees shape the experience of people who interact with your company. When you show gratitude to patient employees, you may motivate them to continue performing their duties thoughtfully.

Related: 10 Tips for Maintaining a Positive Attitude

13. Punctual

Show employees who get to work on time and complete their duties that you appreciate them by describing them as punctual. Punctual employees often set an example in a workplace for other employees to follow, which helps increase productivity and consistency across your team. Thank these employees with positive language for being dedicated to punctuality and providing quality work on time.

14. Resourceful

Resourceful employees are assets to teams as they can create innovative ideas with little guidance or information, so it's important to tell them how much they help their team. This helps resourceful employees understand that they're meeting your expectations and should likely keep performing with the same resourcefulness. It may also encourage them to offer ideas during meetings that may improve your workplace or overall productivity.

15. Open-minded

Use open-minded as a positive descriptor for team members who enjoy learning new things, apply constructive feedback and actively listen to the ideas of others. These employees are valuable because they often take initiative to try new situations in the workplace and collaborate more effectively with their colleagues. Show your appreciation for open-mindedness to motivate these employees and help them inspire their team members to be more receptive to new ideas.

16. Curious

A curious team member is useful for creating new solutions to challenges, improving your workplace and furthering their skills by learning everything they can about their role and industry. Consider encouraging this positive trait by showing how you value their work ethic and search for knowledge. This may help you identify areas for improvement in your company and consider ideas you haven't thought of before.

17. Courteous

Consider praising courteous employees for their ability to interact politely with customers and clients. Using this positive descriptor shows courteous employees the value of their actions and how they improve their company's reputation by being considerate and kind. These employees may also enhance your workplace culture by demonstrating to other employees how to act courteously, even under pressure.

18. Perserverant

For most companies, perseverant employees are exceptional assets who encourage their colleagues to continue working through challenges and finding solutions. Show that you appreciate these employees during team or one-on-one meetings by describing their accomplishments positively, especially after they overcome a significant challenge or complete a large project. Encouraging perseverant employees shows your entire team the value of hard work and how you may reward them for reaching their goals.

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