Giving And Receiving Compliments At The Workplace

Validation is something humans crave, irrespective of how old they are or what position they hold in a corporation. Maintaining a good work-life balance is imperative, but it can be challenging to keep up with all the deadlines and also live up to your boss’s expectations. There is also competition amongst colleagues to gain the respect of the boss in order to receive additional benefits, such as a promotion. This means that managers and leaders should know how to praise someone’s work if they wish to keep their team’s morale high.

Praise and acknowledgment can be very effective in creating a healthy work environment. How you praise someone’s work demonstrates your capacity to maintain employee motivation, encourage performance, foster relationships, and build trust. Recognizing others’ accomplishments also promotes a supportive work environment and a sense of community.

Why Praise Someone’s Work?

It goes without saying that receiving praise makes people happy. When you compliment someone or give them positive feedback, they might feel proud, happy, and more confident. This is because receiving praise triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate the reward and pleasure centers of the brain.

In addition to making us feel good, dopamine can aid in imaginative thinking and creative problem-solving at work. These positive effects, however, are only temporary. To have a long-term effect on employee engagement, compliments must be given frequently.

How to Praise Someone’s Work? 

1. Be Honest

Your sincere intention is the most crucial component of any compliment. Never compliment someone to cheer them up after making a mistake, appease them before making a request, or cushion the blow before giving them difficult feedback. Your intention and your compliment are both false if they are not sincere. If your recognition is false, people may also assume you are inauthentic in other areas. A good rule to remember is only to compliment someone when you feel compelled to let them know how they have an impact on you or others, not just because you feel you should.

2. Concentrate on The Process Instead of the Result

People are believed to prefer to be recognized for the process and work that went into producing the result rather than the actual result. When someone compliments you solely on the outcome, you may start to worry that you won’t be able to repeat the success in the future. Show the person you recognize how much you value the time, effort, creativity, or attention they put into their work.

I can’t believe your team developed such an amazing pitch for the client, and that too on such short notice.”

3. Specify

As you wonder how to praise someone’s work, you want to do so in a manner that leaves them with no unanswered questions, just like when you give feedback or directions. To help the other person understand the context of what we are saying, it is crucial to provide details and examples when we speak. When we are direct when giving compliments, the recipient knows exactly what we are saying and why.

“You handle stress so well.”

Great job leading the brand campaign meeting today.”

4. Share Their Results

A compliment often says more about the giver than the recipient, so keep that in mind. When we compliment someone, we let them know how their actions affected your department or the overall company. Give the person a glimpse into your experience and how it affected you or others if you want to offer a powerful compliment. Think about describing how their work affects the company’s results, how their leadership affects the team, or how their attitude affects the team dynamic.

Our sales have increased by 7.2% this year, thanks to the innovative campaign ideas you shared.

How to Receive Complements at Work

1. Reflect on the Task

After thanking your colleague for the compliment, consider the task or work they highlighted. For instance, if a teammate commends you on completing a new project, you can talk about the effort that was expended on it. This is a fantastic way to keep the conversation going and show off the information and abilities you acquired through finishing the task.

“I’m grateful. Working on this project has been an excellent learning experience for me.”

2. Be Appreciative

Responding to a compliment and making someone feel acknowledged can be done simply and effectively by expressing your gratitude. By saying “thank you,” you can express your gratitude in words. You can also show your gratitude in body language by shaking hands, making eye contact, and grinning. Thanking people for their kindness also demonstrates humility to your team members and managers, which can enhance your professional connections.

“That’s great to hear. You made my day.”

“Thank you. I appreciate your kind words and constructive feedback.”

3. Thank Your Team

When someone praises your work on a team project, consider thanking them for their contributions as well. Giving credit to and praising your coworkers demonstrates your ability to work as a team. Therefore, you demonstrate that you get along well with others and know the value of teamwork by appreciating your coworkers’ contributions and hard work.

“Thank you for saying that. The credit goes to the entire team.”


While praising someone outside the workplace tends to be more informal, compliments made to coworkers must be respectful and formal. Be mindful of the office environment, your coworkers, and the accomplishment you are congratulating them on. It’s equally important to consider the occasion and setting when wondering how to praise someone’s work. If you’re offering praise in front of others, be sure to do so professionally and at an appropriate time. It’s imperative not to do anything that might make the recipient uncomfortable, resulting in them calling you out.

Also Read: 6 Proven Strategies To Create Human Centric Workplace