How to compliment your boss in writing

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 21 August 2022 | Published 7 September 2021

Updated 21 August 2022

Published 7 September 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.

Giving compliments is an essential element of any workplace and the ability to give professional praise is an important skill to have. Developing this skill can help you validate and motivate those around you. Learning how to praise someone professionally can help you develop positive work relationships and build meaningful connections with your colleagues, managers or employees.

In this article, we provide you with a guide on ways to praise someone professionally and give you 36 ways you can compliment someone formally. We also teach you how to write a professional compliment, providing you with a template and examples of how to praise someone in writing.

Why is professional praise important?

It's important to know how to praise someone professionally because it contributes to a positive work environment and lifts the spirits of your coworkers or employees. Furthermore, it makes them feel valued, validated and secure. Giving professional compliments that are genuine, thoughtful and well-timed is an easy way to establish yourself as someone whose optimism makes them an asset to any office.

Knowing how to praise someone for their work is particularly important when you work in a managerial position because it's an effective way to motivate your employees and boost their overall productivity. Likewise, the ability to give well-received praise to your colleagues and boss is important because it builds and nourishes the professional relationships you have with them. Here's what to keep in mind when you want to praise someone for their work:

1. Consider the recipient

The style and context of your compliment depends on who you are praising and their role in the company. The praise you give differs if it's your boss, coworker or employee. Knowing who you're complimenting helps keep your praise professional.

2. Consider your timing

It's important to time your compliments well. Don't wait too long before offering praise. When someone does a good job, let them know as soon as possible. Alternatively, if you know someone is having a bad day, giving them an authentic compliment can greatly boost their mood.

3. Give specific compliments

Avoid generic praise. Rather, give a specific, detailed compliment that keeps your praise sounding genuine and lets the other person know exactly what they did right. For example, instead of saying 'Good job,' you can say 'Good job on your presentation. Your ability to clearly explain the material was truly enlightening.'

Related: 13 Characteristics of a Professional (Plus Definition)

4. Use appropriate language.

Tailor your language according to the atmosphere of your workplace. While some workplaces are more casual than others, aim to give compliments that are carefully worded and appropriate for the professional relationship you share with the recipient of your praise. This can help you ensure the recipient fully appreciates your praise.

5. Keep it professional

Don't get too personal when complimenting someone formally. It's important to avoid the possibility of someone misconstruing the meaning or intention behind your commendation. Therefore, focus your praise on the person's work and professional abilities rather than praising something personal, such as their appearance.

36 ways on how to praise someone professionally

Here are 36 ways you can praise someone's work or professional success:

Complimenting your boss

Use these examples when complimenting your boss:

  1. Thank you for understanding my concerns.

  2. Thank you for your guidance, I really appreciate it.

  3. Your supervision over the years has really helped me improve my time management skills.

  4. It means a lot to me that you are trusting me with this project.

  5. You make me feel comfortable asking questions when I'm in doubt.

  6. Thank you for taking the time to explain this concept to me.

  7. I like how you're always clear about what you want from us. I find it very helpful.

  8. Thank you for being so committed to this team, we're grateful to have you as our leader.

  9. I really appreciate how interested you are in our welfare. It makes a big difference.

  10. I enjoy the atmosphere you have created in our office space.

  11. Working under your leadership has really helped me professionally.

  12. Thank you for always giving me honest, helpful feedback.

Related: How To Give 360 Feedback To Your Boss (Steps and Benefits)

Complimenting your employee

Here are 12 inspirational compliments you can give your employees:

  1. Your efforts lately have not gone unnoticed.

  2. You keep impressing me with your hard work.

  3. I really appreciate how reliable you are.

  4. Your contributions this week were amazing, you really outdid yourself.

  5. You are a vital asset to this team.

  6. I've noticed how punctual you've been lately. Keep up the good work.

  7. Your presentation today was great, you've really improved.

  8. I loved hearing your opinions today during the meeting, you made some great points.

  9. Your attention to detail continues to impress me.

  10. I know you have a lot of deadlines coming up and I'm impressed with how well you're handling the extra workload.

  11. You're an incredibly hard worker who deserves this promotion.

  12. Supervising you is an absolute joy.

Related: 8 Positive Feedback Examples for Employee Performance

Complimenting your colleague

Here are 12 compliments you can give to your colleagues:

  1. I'm so happy to have you on our team.

  2. Thank you for supporting me at the meeting this morning, I really appreciated it.

  3. Your presentations are always excellently delivered, do you have any tips?

  4. Your enthusiasm inspires me.

  5. I always enjoy collaborating with you.

  6. I really admire your ability to handle stress.

  7. Good job at the meeting today.

  8. Your willingness to continually step out of your comfort zone inspires me to do the same.

  9. I really liked what you said earlier, I thought you made some excellent points.

  10. Your problem-solving skills are incredible.

  11. You're going to make a great addition to our team.

  12. Your confidence is infectious.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills (With Definition and Examples)

Tips when praising someone professionally

Here are some tips you can use when praising someone professionally:

  • Be genuine. Believe in the compliments you give. If you don't actually agree with what you're saying, your praise is likely to appear insincere and the recipient is not going to take you seriously.

  • Give meaningful feedback. When you praise someone professionally, offer them meaningful feedback. Give them compliments they can use to discover where their strengths lie. Offering meaningful feedback makes you seem sincere because it shows that you take notice of the other person's efforts.

  • Don't overdo it. The key to giving authentic compliments is to avoid over-exaggerating. Give others the amount of praise they deserve. This way you earn their respect and promote their trust in your opinions.

Steps for writing a professional compliment

Knowing how to praise someone professionally in writing is just as important as learning how to give compliments in person. While the content remains the same, be aware of the formatting when giving someone praise in an email. Follow these general steps when composing an email or letter of professional praise:

  1. Choose the appropriate letterhead if composing a letter. Include your full name, address and the date.

  2. If sending an email of professional praise, choose a subject line that describes the content of your message. For example, you can title your email 'A big thank you.'

  3. Begin with the proper greeting. The tone depends on who you address your email to. Examples of greetings include 'Dear,' and 'Hello,'.

  4. Mention why you are writing this letter of praise. Explain what encouraged you to give this compliment.

  5. Give your praise. It's important to avoiding rambling when offering your compliments. Keep your praise short and to the point. You can look at the section above for inspiration.

  6. Finish your letter with a polite salutation, such as 'Sincerely,' or 'Best,'.

Related: How To Write a Professional Formal Letter

Examples of professional praise in emails

These are some examples of how you may include professional praise in various contexts:

Praising your boss in writing

Dear Mr. Tan,

I wish to express my gratitude for your help yesterday. Thank you for taking the time to explain the guidelines of this new project to me. I really appreciate how y**ou always make me feel comfortable asking questions when I'm in doubt.


Carol Cheong

Related: What Is a Formal Email Format (With Steps and Example)

Praising your employee

Dear Ms. Cheong,

I want to express my satisfaction with the quality of your efforts lately. Your contributions and enthusiasm this week during the team-building exercises were amazing. Keep up the excellent work.


Roy Tan

Praising your coworker via email

Hello Carol,

I want to let you know how inspired I was by you yesterday**. Your presentations are always excellently delivered, do you have any tips?