How Praise Your Staff (The Right Way)

Most people in leadership positions are aware of the importance of gratitude and praise in building a collaborative work environment.

Three Types of Praise

There are three kinds of informal praise that you should be giving your staff that are crucial to establishing a genuine, psychologically safe foundation for your professional relationship.

Quick and Casual

Try to incorporate this type of phrase into your daily interactions with staff and coworkers. Anytime you see an opportunity to make a positive comment on someone’s contributions, take it.


  • Typing Great idea in the Zoom chat while they are speaking
  • Responding This looks great. Nice work when they send you a deliverable

Pointed and Public

This type of praise should be given any time you present on or ship something that someone else contributed to.


  • Giving credit to people who worked on a deliverable you’re sending to external partners, e.g. Here is the monthly report template. Thank you to Jeremiah Smith, our Junior Compliance Analyst for putting this together.

Detailed and Private

This type of praise should only be given every few months. The purpose of this type of praise is to address someone’s contributions over time. Describe a positive change or contribution you’ve noticed over the past few months. Try to think of something the person has been doing regularly, without fail or times they’ve gone above and beyond expectations.


  • Private messaging

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