You really like your boss and would like to pay them a compliment, but simply don’t know how?
It’s understandable, as what you have is a professional relationship and you do not want to jeopardize it by sounding toady or cheesy, or, even worse, unprofessional.
However, if you are one of the lucky ones that work for an elusive Moby Dick/Loch Ness Monster-type-creature of a boss, you should definitely say something. We often forget that our superiors, who have taught us so much, are human beings like us – and we rarely stop and thank them.
Working in a positive environment in a great and supportive leader seems rare these days. If you want to show your boss how much you appreciate them, and express your gratitude for them being there to lead you and encourage you, there are ways to pay them an appropriate compliment.
For example, you could write them a letter. You can leave them an inspirational note on the desk. You can also say pay them a carefully worded, professional compliment from time to time.
And if you prefer to wait for a certain occasion (to make sure you aren’t overstepping the boundaries of the employee-employer relationship), get them flowers for their birthday.
If you like telling jokes and make people laugh, you can still do that and be professional. Some studies have shown that humor in the workplace improves communication and reduces stress. People tend to like original, funny compliments that sound honest and make them feel their efforts are noted and appreciated.
A couple of nice and sincere words can go a long way. Maybe skip the rhyme, since this is, after all, a place of business. But if you miss inspiration, here is some help:
You can go from a somewhat traditional,
“Dear boss, I appreciate the fact that you are such a great person to work with. And I mean it. You and the rest of the team make my morning commutes tolerable, and, sometimes, even a pleasure. Thank you.”
a slightly unorthodox (if you’re friends with your boss and the work atmosphere is very laid back),
“Dear boss, I am extremely grateful that you don’t look up to the 19th century US south. I’m really glad they’ve abolished what they did, for I truly appreciate the 8-hour workday and my benefits and a cheerful work atmosphere. Yours, a very grateful and satisfied employee.”
an anonymous, joking,
“Dear boss, life has never been easy for me. You make sure I remember that every single day. However, you’re not horrible. I’ve seen worse. History books have seen worse. Thanks. Looking forward to next week’s meeting. Yours, nameless”
a cruel but loving,
“Dear boss, yesterday’s merger was the worst thing this company could’ve done. I don’t like the new chairs in the meeting room; they make my back hurt. Your new hair is horrendous. I’m working 10 hours a day instead of 8, with the additional hours unpaid – do you work unpaid? Of course, you don’t. I still love you. You’re still the very best boss I’ve ever had. Yours, Employee”
to a light-spirited and sincere,
“Dear boss, this is by far the best working environment I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. I never thought I’d be able to say this, but I treasure every day I have to go to work. You and the rest of the team have made this a dream-come-true for me. Thank you for remembering that I am as much a person as I am your employee. I’ve never felt neglected, bullied, or taken for granted. On the contrary, you give me so much. I hope I’ll continue giving you my very best. Yours, Employee”
Besides complimenting your boss, our team has come up with a couple of level-headed phrases and idioms that can help you make a good professional impression, and improve your relationship with your boss.
For example, ask them if you can help them with things that are not part of your job description. This shows you are willing to pitch in for the team and that your job means something to you.
Also, show that you want to learn more and improve your skills. Often say things like “I haven’t done it before, but I’d like to learn”. It shows you are ambitious and willing to move up in your career by putting effort into learning new things. “Here’s an idea…” or “I think we can solve it this way…” will always be appreciated.
You don’t have to wait to be told what to do, but can also bring forth a good proposal on how to solve a problem or improve your business. This shows you care about your company.
And finally, sometimes you can ask “How can I get better?” This one suggests you are open to constructive criticism and are willing to improve.
Whose boss wouldn’t like an employee like that?
Even if you won’t follow our advice to a ‘t,’ use them as general pointers to improve your work relationships. Nurturing your work relationships is vital, since you spend almost half your waking hours at your place of employment.
It will bring more happiness and prosperity into your life, reduce overall stress levels, and make you both a happier worker and an individual.
Do it mainly for your own sake, but also for the sake of your friends and family.
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