How Compliments Can Improve the Workplace

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A recent study from the Harvard Business Review details some of the main benefits of giving compliments in the workplace – here’s what they found.

Whether you work in an open office or a cubicle space, it’s more than likely you will talk to or encounter your colleagues throughout the day. Even more so, your mood and demeanor have a direct effect on the people around you – in fact, a lot more than you may at first realise. The Harvard Business Review recently put this to the test and found that praise and compliments given between colleagues and co-workers resulted in a more collaborative and positive working environment.

Using Compliments to Create Strong Introductions

The report points out several scenarios or opportunities as to where it can be best to give compliments as praise. One of which is when introducing someone new to the business or even introducing a co-worker to another co-worker who have never previously met. This provides a good chance to help highlight their current or previous achievements and share any interesting details about them that help them stand out positively. For new starters, compliments will only help build loyalty with the business. It can also transition them into their new role much more comfortably.

Turning a Negative into a Positive

Compliments are also a good way of helping to turn something negative into a positive. Take for example, if a colleague is perhaps not being fully heard or undermined (either intentionally or unintentionally). This can perhaps sometimes be the case during meetings or short discussions. If you notice that someone is struggling to get their point across and you support their view, compliments on their idea and showing recognition for the thought they have put behind it could help push it through and get people to pay attention. Most importantly, compliments in this situation highlight the value that person brings to the business.

Appreciating Ex-Employee Contributions

It can be an uneasy time when someone decides to leave or is made redundant. As an employer, giving compliments on the hard work and dedication an exiting employee has brought to the role can help alleviate tensions and show true appreciation for their contributions. Positive reinforcement in the form of compliments could help an exiting employee when they need it the most, whether it’s for their next job reference or letting them know they will always be remembered for being a vital part of your team.

‘Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti’

The last part of their report summarizes the importance of compliments and how it can help to create a more positive, happy place to work, stating:

“Every day we have opportunities to help others create positive meaning in how we communicate about our colleagues. It’s worth it to stay aware of these moments and take advantage of them. Not only do we uplift others, but we also lift up our own potential for meaning by positively contributing to others.”

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Sam Rose

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