You may have the most complimentary boss ever, but that doesn't mean you should let her dish out all the kudos. Give your co-workers some props yourself. You'll spread the love and give everyone's productivity a boost. If your supervisors just don't have the time -- or inclination -- to dole out compliments in the office, it may be up to you to create a work atmosphere that is healthy and appreciative.
Burst in the door with a bag of breakfast burritos or a treat you've made at home to thank co-workers for their help on a project. Of course, breakfast isn't the only way to give your co-workers some edible praise. A plate of brownies or a chocolate bar nestled in a mailbox is equally welcome. If a co-worker has gone out of her way to help you, treat her to lunch.
Write a Note
While praising a colleague in person is always appropriate, go a step further and put your words in writing. Are you blown away by a presentation your co-worker did that landed the company five new clients? Send your star colleague an email telling her so. Keep a supply of note cards on hand and use them to write quick thank you notes or words of encouragement and praise. Don't overlook social media. A message on the "wall" of a colleague that says, "Mind-blowing! I admire your skills!" after she has made a major sale may bring a smile to her face. When using social media, keep in mind that clients may also have access to her account, so don't divulge work-related details.
Ask for Advice
One of the best ways to praise a person is to ask for her advice. This lets her know that you not only value her work, but believe that she has something to offer you. For example, if a colleague made a difficult sale, say, "You've got to reveal the magic words you used to turn Oscar the Grouch into a customer." This gives your co-worker the chance to bask in her magical abilities, and you'll learn something, too.
Todd Smith, a top-performing Realtor and author of the book "Little Things Matter," advises people to give praise publicly. You're not only telling your co-worker how valuable he is to you, you're also working to broadcast his worth to other people. You might say, "Juan, I was afraid the report would be late after I had so many problems formatting the photos. I can't believe you got it in on time." Turning to others in the room and say, "He absolutely rocks!"
Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.