Employee Engagement, Rewards & Recognition | Article

20 Examples of Great Compliments to Give at Work

January 24th is National Compliment Day! Give a genuine compliment to someone at work today. If you don’t know where to start, we got you.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? It’s crazy how long a few kind words can stick with you. Whether you compliment someone in person or virtually, you never know how long your words might stick with them.

How to Compliment

Outside of work, complimenting people seems to come naturally, yet sometimes it can feel different in a work setting. That’s why we’re starting off with a few tips:

  1. Consider the recipient. Keep in mind who you are complimenting. What is their role? Are they your employee, peer, or manager? This will help you determine how to compliment them and for what.
  2. Be specific. Make sure you’re specific when giving compliments to show you truly mean it. Being vague might come off as inauthentic. Don’t just say “Great work.” Say “Great work on…” with specific praise.
  3. Understand preferences. Get to know your employees, peers, and managers so you can understand the ways they prefer to be recognized. A compliment on a company-wide Moments Feed can be great for those that like public praise. For more private people, eCards are a great option.
  4. Stay professional. Compliments given outside of the workplace tend to be casual. In a professional setting, it’s good to keep things polite and, in some cases, formal. You don’t have to be all buttoned up all the time. In fact, getting a little personal can be a good thing! Just be sure to keep things appropriate, including where and when you compliment.

Great Compliments to Give Co-Workers

Offering a sincere compliment to a co-worker is a great way to show kindness and support. And if you’re a leader, it’s especially important for recognizing and thanking your employees.

A job well done

Employees want to know how they’re doing. Validation that they’re doing a good job can come from managers or peers. Focus on recognizing their specific strengths and abilities that lead to successes. It’s a great way to build confidence while encouraging the employee to keep up the good work. Some example compliments include:

  • I was blown away by your contributions this week
  • You’re really making a difference at our organization
  • That work you put in on this project is getting us closer to our goals
  • Thank you for being a great communicator
  • You always put in effort and the results are always top-tier
New hire

We all know what it’s like to start a new job. It can be scary, no matter how much experience or knowledge you have. There’s a lot to learn which can be overwhelming, but compliments can ease the nerves. Another plus is helping them feel like they’re becoming a part of the team and are already appreciated. Some example compliments include:

  • I can tell you’re going to be a great addition to our team
  • You’re adapting to this role really quickly
  • I’m super excited to work with you
  • I love the fresh new perspective you’re bringing to the team
  • You’re showing great initiative so far, keep up the great work
Being a good teammate

It’s nice to specifically call out when a team member is being a helpful team player. Especially when people go above and beyond to lend a hand. Show appreciation when a coworker supports the team with their actions or efforts. Some example compliments include:

  • Having you on our team makes a huge difference
  • Thank you for staying late to help me finish this task
  • You always listen intently and lend a helping hand
  • I appreciate your reliability as a teammate, you always get things done
  • Collaborating with you is such a joy
Character and personality traits

Complimenting people at work doesn’t always have to be tied to the work itself. Some of the most impactful compliments are typically tied to our character or personality. They are often core to who we are and can be very uplifting. Some example compliments include:

  • I really admire your passion and it’s contagious
  • The positive outlook you hold energizes our team
  • Your resilience and determination are inspiring
  • Thank you for radiating good vibes across our organization
  • How honest and vulnerable you are makes you a great leader

Let these compliment examples serve as inspiration today and beyond. But remember to be specific! Think of ways you can take these compliments and customize them with more details. And, of course, let compliments come from the heart.