How to praise someone professionally 

Luka Kovac

Last updated on: December 20, 2022

If you are looking for ways to improve your company’s work environment, do not forget one of the crucial elements — professional recognition. 

Although it seems that money makes the world go around nowadays, there is still some importance left in the good old kudos for coworkers and employees. 

Namely, according to one of the studies on employee engagement, 53% of employees want more appreciation from their immediate manager. 

However, one cannot give away professional compliments to coworkers and employees so easily. There are certain things one should know about work compliments and their influence on professionals. 

Therefore, we decided to make an article that will explain to you:

  • The concept and characteristics of professional praise,
  • When it is the right time to praise someone professionally,
  • The importance of professional praise, and
  • How to praise someone professionally. 

Now, let’s start and see what to bear in mind when you decide to praise someone professionally.

How to praise someone professionally - cover

What is professional praise? 

Professional praise is a way of congratulating your colleagues, managers, or employees for excellent work or improvements in a certain area. 

Praise can be verbal, by using professional compliments, or material, by giving away financial bonuses. 

I know that many professionals would prefer a financial bonus over a simple work compliment, but appreciation is equally important

Therefore, we can say that professional praise is slightly more about making your employee or colleague satisfied and honored than simply making them richer. 

Anyway, if you are a manager or boss wondering how to praise someone professionally, we recommend you combine both, professional compliments and financial bonuses. 

Now that we know the basic definition of professional praise, let’s see when we praise someone professionally.

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

Recognizing a coworker or employee’s efforts is a way of making communication in the workplace more respectful. To learn what else to do to make it better, check out this article:

When do we praise someone professionally?

The right time for professional praise is whenever you feel that someone deserves praise! It is as simple as that. 

However, there are a few particular situations in which we can use professional praise. 

1. When a new team member gets off on the right foot

A new beginning is often riddled with difficulties. 

Namely, you need to introduce yourself professionally, attend a lot of meetings, get used to the new company culture, and prove that you are a valuable member of the team. 

All these things can be quite stressful for a new colleague or employee. 

Hence, we recommend using every possible occasion to give them a meaningful work compliment. 

In other words, whenever you see that your new colleague or employee picks up things quickly, asks good questions, or resolves problems at work, give them recognition for that. 

That’s the way you will make them more motivated, and most importantly, you will start your work relationship on the right foot. 

2. When a team member achieves something great

We all love to see our colleagues or employees achieve great things. 

Whether they improve their efficiency, put additional efforts into resolving a problem, or simply improve themselves, they deserve recognition. 

Therefore, do not be afraid to give someone professional compliments. 

Moreover, recognizing a coworker’s or employee’s efforts fosters emphatic communication in the workplace, which is beneficial in the long run.  

3. Giving praise for collaborative work

Nowadays, team collaboration is one of the most used terms in the business world. 

Almost every company praises their team collaboration and boasts about how they create a fertile ground for successful cooperation. 

However, we often witness that not everything is as it looks. 

There are a lot of companies where team collaboration exists just on paper, and in reality, we see a completely different picture. 

Therefore, whenever we see that a company really fosters collaboration, it is important to praise that.  

As a result, managers/colleagues will continue to work towards making a company an even better place for cooperation between employees. 

Characteristics of effective professional praise

Although compliments for coworkers and employees vary depending on the occasion, there are some rules that one should follow to make professional praise more effective. 

Here are some characteristics of effective professional praise.

Effective professional praise is genuine 

Whatever you do, do not be insincere. 

Insincere compliments for employees or coworkers can only backfire. 

Namely, if someone notices tones of sycophancy in your professional compliments, you might lose your credibility and integrity. Some colleagues might not take you seriously due to your fake kudos. 

To avoid unpleasant situations and potential communication breakdown, praise your coworkers or employees only when you think they deserve it. 

To rephrase, choose your own words, formulate them to sound professional, and act genuine. 

Effective professional praise is clear

If you are wondering how to praise someone professionally, one of the first things you should learn is to be clear. 

Namely, clearly state the reason for your praise, so that the praised one understands what they have done well to earn the work compliment. 

If you exaggerate or write vague praise, no one will understand, so all those coworkers or employee compliments would be ineffective.

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

Knowing the principles of active communication helps one to be clearly understood on every occasion. To learn more about active communication, check out this article: 

Effective professional praise is well-timed

If you miss the opportunity to praise someone, it is okay. It can happen sometimes. 

However, do not try to make up for it by praising someone months after they have done something praiseworthy. 

On the other hand, do not praise your colleagues or employees too early. It might lead to complacency. 

In our opinion, professional praise should come right after the work has been evaluated and proven successful. 

Moreover, if you notice improvement or some new trait of your colleague/employee that you like, feel free to honor it right away! 

Why is it important to praise someone professionally?

We all like it when people are full of praise for our work. 

On the contrary, when we do not get the praise we deserve, we might feel disappointed and demotivated for future work endeavors. 

Therefore, it is necessary to praise someone professionally because it benefits both the recipient and the company as a whole. 

Here are the main reasons for appreciating someone professionally. 

Reason #1: It honors the efforts of a recipient

Being good at your job is not a walk in the park. 

We often fail, try again, and only eventually achieve the desired aim. 

In any case, one thing is sure — we need to put a lot of effort into achieving success. 

However, when we eventually succeed, a professional compliment would be a true validation of our work. 

In other words, professional praise boosts the recipient’s confidence and shows them that they are on the right track

If you are a boss/manager, it is of paramount importance to honor the efforts of your employees meritocratically. 

This way, they will know that every professional praise or criticism, as well, is justified. 

Reason #2: It creates a better work atmosphere 

A good work atmosphere is an essential ingredient of a successful organization. 

However, if one sees that their efforts are pointless and without any recognition from the managers, it might create discontentment that can spread across the entire team. 

That can lead to a catastrophe for a company. 

Therefore, no matter if you are a manager or employee, do everything you can to create a good work environment. Whenever you feel it is appropriate, praise the efforts of the team members. 

Make those team members who worked hard, but considered themselves invisible to managers, heroes of your team. 

That’s how you will: 

  • Create an atmosphere of trust, 
  • Increase loyalty, and 
  • Maintain a good work atmosphere that everyone would enjoy.  

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

If you are looking for additional ways of boosting your employee’s morale, check out this article:

Reason #3: It helps the company grow 

As we stated above, a motivated employee performs better. 

Now, can you imagine a whole team of motivated employees? It would make your company a real mean machine!

With the professionals who get the appropriate recognition, you ensure the following:

  • Better company results,
  • Increase in net worth,
  • More customers, and
  • More job opportunities. 

Moreover, with satisfied employees and colleagues, you will get the best possible marketing. 

Namely, they will be PRs of your company — whenever someone asks them how they are doing in the company, they will provide positive answers and spread the good word to others. 

How do you appreciate someone professionally? 

Now that you know almost everything about the concept and importance of professional praise, it is time to learn how to praise someone professionally. 

However, before we provide some phrases you can use for praising coworkers, bosses, or employees, there are a few things you should know. 

Tip #1: Take into account the role of a recipient

We cannot approach our bosses and colleagues in the same way. Therefore, always bear in mind who you are praising. 

Whether you want to praise someone in person or via team chat apps, such as Pumble, it is important to know the recipient’s milieu. 

Only when you know one’s status in the company can you formulate your work praise professionally.  

Tip #2: Time the work compliment well 

Now that we know that professional praise needs to be well-timed, it is easier to conclude when to send the work compliment. 

If you miss the opportunity to congratulate someone on a professional accomplishment, do not bother yourself or feel guilty.

Just wait for their new accomplishment, and then do not hesitate, but time the work compliment well. 

Tip #3: State the reason for praise

If you make a long list of generalized compliments for coworkers or employees, they might become a little bit confused. Moreover, you will not highlight the things you wanted to praise foremost. 

Therefore, avoid using phrases like “Good job, you are so diligent and innovative!”. 

Instead of that, clearly state the reason for professional praise:

“Hey, I loved the way you resolved the problem of the exhaust fumes on our new vehicle. The way you added the additional pipe was a real innovation. Well done!” 

As one can see, stating a clear reason for the praise makes the praise more effective. 

Tip #4: Inspire the recipient

With every professional praise you give (as long as they are well-deserved), you keep the positive spirit within the employees or colleagues alive. 

That positive spirit turns easily into motivation when needed. 

Therefore, use the right words that can not only overwhelm someone with emotions but also motivate them for further professional development and career advancement. 

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

It is important to understand the emotions of your colleagues/employees/managers, so that you can find the right words and ways to inspire them. To learn more about emotional intelligence, check out this article:

Tip #5: Keep everything professional

Be careful not to overstep personal boundaries, especially if you do not know the recipient of work praise well. 

Keep everything professional, but bear in mind, praising someone can be a good start of an acquaintanceship or even a friendship. 

Of course, if you know your colleagues, employees, or managers well, being more personal with them is fine.

Also, keeping everything professional means you will not praise colleagues/employees/managers too often, but only when they truly deserve it. 

Phrases for praising someone professionally

Although it is best to think up your way of praising someone, it is handy to have at least some examples of what professional praise should look like. 

Therefore, we have created a list of compliments for coworkers, bosses, and employees that you can incorporate into your professional praise. 

It is important to emphasize that the following work compliments embody all the ideas we mentioned in this article.  

Professional compliments to coworkers

As you will see, some of the following compliments are for situations when one has solved a problem, while some are for the professional development one displays. 

Below, thanks to a screenshot from Pumble, you can see an example of how professional praise to a coworker can look.

Katie uses Pumble, a team chat app, to praise her colleague professionally 
Katie uses Pumble, a team chat app, to praise her colleague professionally 

Here are professional compliments to coworkers we recommend you use:

“Your solution for [the name of the problem] was amazing. You made an excellent choice by [what one did]. Congratulations on a good job!”

“Well done for finding a quick fix for [the name of the problem]. Great job!”

“I’m amazed at how you coped with the pressure/criticism today! Well done!”

“I have to admit that I have noticed how you improved your [the name of the skill/attribute]. I am so happy because of that!” 

“It is great to see you improving day by day! I particularly like that your [the name of attribute/skill] is getting better. Keep up the good work!”

“I am glad to have you in our team. Your experience is invaluable, and you proved that when we did our last project about [the name of the topic]. Hope to have you with us for a long time!”

Professional compliments to superiors

There are moments when you want to simply say “thank you or praise your boss or manager. 

If you see that your boss/manager tries hard to ensure good work conditions or if they allow you to use a paid vacation after only 20 days in a new company, it would be a noble thing to praise them. 

However, watch out not to sound obsequious, i.e. too servile.  

We believe that the screenshot below is the perfect example of how professional praise to a manager/boss should look. 

Namely, the message we can see is neither too servile nor too personal. 

Katie praises her manager for having enough understanding of employees' problems via Pumble, a team chat app
Katie praises her manager for having enough understanding of employees’ problems via Pumble, a team chat app

Here are some examples of how professional compliments to a boss/manager should look:

“Thank you for being there when I had to [what you had to do]. I will never forget that!”

“You showed a great vision when you assigned me to resolve [the name of the problem]. It is nice to work in a company where talents are recognized. Thank you!”

“This is one of the companies where employees’ welfare is in the first place. I believe all of the employees really value that.”

“I want to praise this company for resolving [the name of the problem]. It bothered us for some time, and you managed to improve our work conditions by making the problem disappear. Thank you!”

“The fact that you provide [what one has provided] is helpful for all of us. You deserve all praise!”  

Professional compliments to employees

Although Fatboy Slim is not a motivational speaker nor a philosopher (for now), in his song Praise You, he said one sentence that every boss/manager should remember “I have to praise you like I should”. 

In other words, as a boss or a manager, you should keep in mind that your success is based on the good performance of your employees. Therefore, praise them whenever they do something meritorious. 

For example, handling an extra workload is never easy, but when one is successful at that, it deserves recognition as in the example below.

Blair, as a manager, praises Marie via Pumble, a team chat app
Blair, as a manager, praises Marie via Pumble, a team chat app

Here are our examples of compliments for employees: 

“Your diligence has not gone unnoticed. During our last project, you proved to be one of the vital parts of our team. Keep up the good work!”

“Well done for managing to [name of the accomplishment]. We are all proud of you!”

“I keep hearing nice things about your work. What I particularly liked was the fact that you resolved [name of the problem]. Hope to see more of the same in the future, well done!”

“Since we have accepted your recommendations for [name], we have accomplished better results. Therefore, my doors are always open for your suggestions.”

“Your recent contributions to [name of the project] have been amazing. Keep up the good work!”

“Although you will get a financial bonus for resolving the problem of [the name of the problem], I just wanted to congratulate you in person, as well. Well done and keep up the good work!” 

💡 Pumble Pro Tip 

For all managers and bosses: It is important to recognize the efforts of your employees! Learn how to do so here: 

How to praise someone professionally in an email or a team chat app?

Although email is probably not the best solution for team communication nowadays, it is still used for communication among professionals.  

However, we witness how more and more teams look for the proper email alternative that will be more efficient and easier to use in everyday communication. 

Therefore, we decided to create messages that can be used in both, emails and team chat apps. 

Professional praise to a coworker 

Dear Ben, 

How are you? I am reaching out to you to congratulate you on the terrific presentation you gave us yesterday. It was amazing to see different ways of promoting our products. I will use some of those ways in the future, and I will be free to contact you if I have any questions. 



Professional praise to a boss

Dear boss, 

We cannot praise you enough for taking the time to explain everything we needed to know about our last project. When we needed your help, you were there for us. It is not something one can see every day. Therefore, we dedicate the award we got to you. 


James Wilson 

Professional praise to an employee

Dear Mr. Robson, 

Thank you for your great commitment during the past month. Your contribution to our media campaign was magnificent. It helped us get 1500 new users. Keep up the amazing work! 


Tom Robinson

Conclusion: Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity

By using the words of the famous English writer Samuel Johnson in the heading of this conclusion, we want to emphasize how important it is to carefully choose time and words for praising someone professionally. 

Not too often, nor too seldom. 

Therefore, when you pick the right time, and maybe use some of the methods we have shown above, do not hesitate to incite a sense of optimism in your colleagues, managers, or employees. 

Praise them professionally, praise them like you should

✉️ Do employees get enough praise for diligent work? Have you ever been praised professionally? What is, in your opinion, the best way to praise someone? What do you prefer, a financial bonus or appreciation?
Let us know at for a chance to be featured in this or future blog posts. Also, if you found this blog post useful, share it with someone you think would also benefit from it.

Author: LukaKovac

Luka Kovac is a communication author and researcher at Pumble. His work is based on his knowledge of various communication methods, team-working ethics, and psychology. Since he is an experienced remote worker, his articles provide valuable insights into some vital strategies for successful communication and teamwork. When he’s not writing, he’s probably trying new interaction techniques and skills.

Free team chat app

Improve collaboration and cut down on emails by moving your team communication to Pumble.


Learn more Arrow Right Primary
Pumble chat app
Closing video