We know it’s important to give positive feedback in response to a job well done. Simple recognition of effort can be a fantastic reward that provides continued motivation for future tasks. But sometimes it seems to get tedious to keep saying “great job” over and over, especially if you work with a large team.
For truly exceptional work that exceeded expectations
Excellent work must always be recognized and differentiated as such. High performers are intrinsically motivated by doing excellent work and producing something that impresses others. When that credit is not given, over time they will redirect their effort and contributions towards work that does meet that need for high achievement.
- Brilliant job!
- Outstanding work!
- This is truly above and beyond.
- We are thrilled to have you on our team and this is exactly why we need you.
- This is superb! I had no idea a document could look this good.
- To be honest, when we started the project I wasn’t sure we could pull this off but you certainly did it and did it well.
- We are so fortunate to have an innovator like you on our team.
- This is so great I think others could benefit from learning about it. Can I share your work at our team meeting/with my peers/with my boss, etc.?
- You set a high bar with this one.
- This showcases you are a role model and leader in our organization.
For work completed fairly, accurately, and on time
It is true that this is an expectation that comes with the job—to get work done without error and within deadline. This work still deserves appreciation and recognition, albeit at a more moderate level. You don’t want to overstate the contribution, but you do want to acknowledge that the effort it took to complete the assignment is not being taken for granted.
- Thank you!
- Good work, as always.
- Thanks for getting this done.
- You are a lifesaver.
- Thank you for pulling everyone/everything together on such short notice.
- I appreciate you getting this to me so quickly so I have time to review it.
- Thanks for your help today.
- Thanks for your good work this week.
- Thanks for stepping up and getting this done for us.
- I don’t know what I would do without you.
For a job well done
Last but certainly not least—and in fact, most work will fall in this category—is work that delivers more than the minimum but is not quite out of this world. The goal here is to recognize that it is good work but you don’t want to muddle the feedback to sound like it could be one of the other two categories.
- Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for.
- Wonderful, this is more than I expected.
- This is so great I don’t need to make any revisions to it at all.
- I appreciate your critical thinking around this project.
- Well done—and ahead of deadline too!
- You are such a team player.
- You are so creative—I always love getting your perspective on things.
- You consistently bring your all and I truly appreciate that.
- I am so proud/glad/lucky to have you part of my team.
However you choose to say it, don’t skip it. Positive feedback makes us feel recognized and appreciated, it identifies what we have done right (and thus gives us a clue to what we should do more of), and it makes negative feedback and constructive criticism easier to accept and integrate.