Are your Employees Working Hard? Here’s How to Say Thank You

Complimenting someone on a job well done doesn’t seem hard, does it? You simply walk over to the person and say, “Thanks for doing such a great job on that,” right?

Well, there is an art to giving compliments, believe it or not. A compliment has the most impact when it reinforces a positive behavior. The best way to do that is to point out the specific actions that are being praised. It should also be given at the appropriate place and time. Most importantly, it should be seen as authentic.

The next time you want to heap praise one of your employees, consider the following tips.

Mean what you say

Before you hand out a compliment, be certain you’re doing so because the person truly deserves the recognition, and not because you want to gloss over an awkward pause or make idle chit chat. Insincere compliments are easy to spot and they end up watering down the compliments that you truly mean.

Sometimes, a genuine comment is a great way to connect with an employee who might seem distant. If you’re looking to connect through a compliment, be sure you genuinely appreciate the employee’s work.

Don’t go overboard

Think about the last time someone kept heaping praise on you. If you’re like most people, it may have started to feel unnatural or forced after a certain point, like maybe the person wanted something in return.

Avoid going overboard when it comes to complimenting someone’s work. In addition to possibly not seeming genuine, effusive praise can earn you a reputation as a manipulative apple polisher. Also, if you keep handing out compliments, they will start to lose their significance and lose meaning for those who receive them.

Be specific with your praise

Vague, and open-ended compliments can be a bit odd to receive and even more strange to respond to. Specific compliments, on the other hand, are easy to hear and react to in a natural way. For instance, saying, “Thanks for staying late last night to take care of that extra work” is more effective than saying, “You’re such a hard worker!”

Specific compliments show a high degree of interest and engagement in what the other person did, making your compliment seem more legitimate.

Keep it short and sweet

When you truly appreciate what someone did, it’s natural to want to give them a lot of praise. However, the shorter the better is usually the best policy. Going on and on can water down the message.

Right time, right place

Call your employees into your office, or praise them during a team meeting so they’re co-workers can recognize them too. Avoid saying your message in passing as you’re walking in opposite directions down a hallway. Employees want to feel valued and not like an after thought.

At LTI, we support all of our clients’ employee recognition and appreciation initiatives. If your company is currently looking for a talent acquisition partner to support its operations, please contact us today.