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:
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:
Related: 8 Positive Feedback Examples for Employee Performance
Complimenting your colleague
Here are 12 compliments you can give to your colleagues:
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:
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:
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.
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.
Praising your coworker via email
I want to let you know how inspired I was by you yesterday**. Your presentations are always excellently delivered, do you have any tips?