How appreciated an employee feels can affect everything from how well your company attracts and retains top talent to how individual employees contribute to overall growth. According to a recent Gallup analysis, “only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days. At any given company, it’s not uncommon for employees to feel that their best efforts are routinely ignored.”
From verbal to non-verbal acts of gratitude, every person on your team deserves to be recognized and praised. If you’re wondering how to praise your employees and bolster employee appreciation, here are 10+ thoughtful work compliments for employees and teammates to help you get started. These are written with hiring managers and employers in mind, but if you’d like even more, including compliments for peers, check out 33 Compliments to Give your Co-Workers!
10+ Examples of Compliments for Employees
Compliments on Skills or a Job Well Done
“I love how you did X to complete X.”
Why this works: Don’t just appreciate them for what they did, but how they did it, too. By doing so, you’re telling them exactly what their impact is for the company was — and how to replicate it again in the future, thus building a tool for growth.
“Thank you for working on that project. You helped us hit X goal!”
Why this works: Getting specific tells your employees exactly how their actions impacted your team positively. That’s especially true when you emphasize how their actions impacted your team or company’s overall goals. There’s nothing like knowing you helped hit a target goal to boost productivity and increase performance!
“I wish I knew how to do X as well as you do. Thank you for your support!”
Why this works: Showing some vulnerability by compliment an employee on skills you don’t have makes them feel seen and recognized for the unique skillset that they bring to the team will be highlighted.
“Fantastic work. Let’s make sure to include this in our discussion during your next performance review.”
Why this works: You want to make it clear that your employees have a voice in their own career growth — and that you take their successes seriously! By encouraging them to bring these wins with them to regularly scheduled reviews, you create an open door policy. You also start training employees to better track their own work and hold themselves responsible for outcomes.
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“We’re so glad we hired you.”
Why this works: Job interviewing can be an exhausting, depleting, and difficult process. If you have a newly hired team member on your team who needs a boost, recognize their efforts and your excitement that they’re on your team. This will show your new team members that you’re not only excited they’re here, but invested in their future.
“We couldn’t have done it without you.”
Why this works: In order to make sure your new employees feel indispensable, reaffirm how their efforts contribute to your team overall. They will not only feel like they have a special place within your team, but this often re-invigorates teammates to continue showing up fully and being engaged.
“We’re thrilled to have you here to shake things up. Please don’t hesitate to share your ideas.”
Why this works: New employees often feel uncertain about speaking up when they’re new to a team. It’s also natural to feel nervous about stepping on toes. But the reason you hire new talent is to bring in new ideas. By complimenting new employees on their fresh eyes and ideas, and encouraging them to “shake things up,” you make it clear that smart feedback is always welcome.
Compliments with a Little Something Extra
“I appreciate how you led that meeting. Let’s go to lunch!”
Why this works: Another way to make your employees feel appreciated and celebrated is to pair up a compliment with a little something special. It’s nice to be able to get out of the office together if you’re in-person or schedule a separate meeting for a virtual lunch get-together.
“Thank you for all your hard work, you’re this month’s employee of the month!”
Why this works: If you haven’t already, create an employee of the month club to make your appreciation for your employees public. This will not only recognize individuals with impressive accomplishments but coworkers and peers will also be able to acknowledge their positive impact and how it affects other members of the organization.
“I really appreciated that you picked up that shift for X. Please take a day off on me.”
Why this works: If it’s possible, return the favor they completed back to them in some way. You not only compliment them on their ability to be a team player when the team needs them the most, but also show them a token of appreciation in a similar way.
“If ever you need one, I’ll provide you with a stellar reference. You’re the dream employee.”
Why this works: Tell your employee that you’d like to be an advocate for them by providing a professional written reference. This will not only make your employee feel complimented but also gives them something powerful and effective to add to their resume or portfolio.
Or Skip the Words and Show Gratitude with Actions
In addition to praise, consider offering bonuses, promotions, thoughtful gifts, etc. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words.
How to Give Employees Compliments
The more specific your compliment, the better. Something like “great work on that project” is much less impactful than “Great work on the brand redesign project. The passion and detail you brought to that project shined through and really made a difference.”
Keep It Professional
Remember that professional and personal compliments are different, and professional compliments must be formal, polite, and considerate. The time and place of your compliments has an impact, as well.
Compliment Employee Performance
Day-to-day compliments are fantastic, but you should also build positive feedback into your company’s ongoing professional development policies. When conducting 6 month and 12 month professional reviews, be sure to compliment employee performance and jot down a few positive pieces of feedback to give to every employee before digging into any neutral or negative feedback.
Need more examples of compliments for employees? Check out these additional 33 thoughtful compliments.
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