David McManus / January 24th 2019

Conquering the compliment

‘Firstly, we’d like to say how nice it is that you visited our blog today. From looking at our data, you appear to be smart, well educated and have a deep interest in design. Can we also add, that you have wonderful taste, and are very good at what you do…’

It’s often difficult to find the right words to compliment someone – how did we do?

Compliments are a form of structured gratitude, which is proven to have extremely beneficial effects in the workplace. With the advancements in technology and social media, anyone can now easily look into your company and make judgements on the culture.

Workplace positivity depends on a culture where sharing compliments feels comfortable and commonplace. The team at Straightedge have come together (after telling each other how amazing they look today) and have shared three top tips for giving genuine, morale-boosting compliments in the workplace.

Compliment Sincerely

Take a minute to think it over – don’t pay a compliment you don’t actually mean. If you give a compliment in order to receive, the recipient will feel insecure and the compliment will devalue it’s intended meaning. Furthermore, never follow a compliment with a favour.

‘A compliment that is charged for, is not valuable.’

Relationships are built on respect and building a good / open rapport with your team, with a culture of sincere compliments – creating a satisfied and proactive workforce.

Take Individual Effort Into Account

Did an employee stay late to finish a co-worker’s project? Were they struggling with an aspect of their work, but persevered to improve their performance? Let them know you noticed. A small, but genuine compliment, ensures that your team feels motivated, confident and appreciated.

‘Ignoring an individual’s hard work will generate negativity in the workplace.’

An undervalued employee creates a loss of interest and morale, reduced productivity, and an increase in employee turnover. Most likely, an unhappy employee will consider leaving the organisation and will focus their efforts on pursuing other opportunities elsewhere. If they reach this point without any genuine efforts from company leaders to assure them of their worth, it can be almost impossible to change their minds.

Say Why It Makes a Difference

Back up your compliment by explaining why the employee’s effort is meaningful to you and to the company – the more specific the better. Did the employee win a new project, therefore hitting the company monthly quota? Tying the compliment to results will help the employee feel valued and committed to the company vision.

If you and your team are out of practice, it may take some getting used to. However, the more you trade compliments, the easier it gets. And… since receiving and giving compliments feels great, you’ll all be motivated to continue passing along the positivity!