What Is Good Work? (With Definitions and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022 | Published 6 December 2021

Updated 30 September 2022

Published 6 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

You may wonder how your colleagues and managers perceive your work and whether they consider it to be good work. There are many ways to define what good work is, in the workplace. You may be interested to know more about how to express appreciation for good work in the workplace. In this article, we explain what qualifies as good work and show you how to express appreciation for good work in the workplace.

Related: How To Write a Personalised Appreciation Letter

What is good work?

The simple answer to, 'what is good work' is that it's work that meets or exceeds expectations. Good work is usually of high quality and is usable with minimal revisions. Such work is usually delivered punctually and within the stipulated deadline. Good work is recognisable by anyone, including a peer, a senior or a junior.

To find out if you're producing good work, you may gauge others' reactions to your work. Alternatively, actively ask for feedback from those you work with to understand your strengths and areas for improvement. Another way is to reflect on the work you've submitted and ask yourself if you're satisfied with the quality of the work.

Related: Top 20 Qualities of a Good Employee You Should Know

Some ways to express appreciation for good work

It's important to recognise and celebrate good work, especially if you're in a management or team leader role. There are many ways to express appreciation for a colleague's good work, and you can express your appreciation and gratitude in your own unique way. Here are some good ways to encourage a colleague and show that you care:

Give a verbal compliment

This is the simplest and easiest way to express appreciation for good work. If your colleague helped you solve a challenge or answered a question for you, consider paying your colleague a verbal compliment. Compliments are usually sincere and a quick encouragement for the person you're complimenting. It's also low commitment and free so give compliments freely whenever appropriate.

If you're a manager at work, you may also wish to regularly compliment a team member's work. This could boost their confidence and increase their work productivity and efficiency. It also signals that you're satisfied with their quality of work and they may use that as a guide for what to do in the future. Here are some examples of verbal compliments:

  • 'Thanks for the support, yesterday! I knew we can depend on you to help out!'

  • 'This is great work! I appreciate the quick turnover and clear explanations. I'm sure the marketing team will find this advice useful for future projects.'

  • 'We're really fortunate to have you on our team, Sam! Your ideas are unique and work well. Keep up the good work!'

Related:

  • How to Say 'Thank You for Your Support as Always' (With Examples)

  • What Is Interpersonal Communication and Why Is It Important?

Write a note of appreciation

Another good way to express your appreciation for someone else's good work is by writing a note of appreciation. This method could work well if the person you're thanking enjoys little personal touches and heartfelt words of gratitude. Notes can be kept for a long time and displayed. This can make them more permanent than a verbal compliment.

Writing a note of appreciation is a simple and low-cost option of thanking someone for their work. You may simply write a note of thanks on a scrap piece of paper or an office post-it. You may also choose to purchase a pre-made thank you card to make the note more formal. Alternatively, if you have a creative streak and time permits, consider making a handmade card to express your thanks. Here are some notes of appreciation for different situations:

Thanking someone for their help

This example shows a note you may use when someone helped with a team project:

Hi See Yin,

I'm just dropping a short note of thanks for helping our team with the sales project! We really appreciate your hard work and effort with the project, on top of your other work. It was probably tough to do both of them at the same time. Feel free to reach out to us if there is an opportunity for us to return the favour. See you around the office!

Best wishes,

Suhaimi (Sales Team)

Thanking someone for their work

Here's an example showing how you might thank someone for their hard work:

Hi Jia Hao,

Thank you for all your hard work over the past quarter. Your work performance has been consistent and you're performing well. Keep up the good work and you'll go far. It's always a pleasure working with you.

With much appreciation,

Kee Yong

Thanking someone for completing additional tasks

This is an example showing how you might thank someone who completed additional responsibilities:

Dearest Ji Won,

Thanks for taking over Hae Won's work when she fell sick. I appreciate your initiative. The presentation was well conducted and you were a confident speaker. Continue to work hard and I look forward to watching you excel in your career. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if I can offer my support in any way.

See you around,

Muthusamy

Thanking someone for completing a project

Here's an example you can reference when thanking a colleague for completing a project:

Dear Chan Wen,

How are you? I hope you're doing well. By the way, this is a small token of my appreciation (a vanilla-scented candle) for your assistance in closing the deal with Averial Soaps. The negotiations were long drawn out but it was all worth it in the end. Here's to more opportunities to work together in the future and bring the company to greater heights!

Keep it up,

Ashraf

Thanking someone for their effort

Here's an example you can use to thank someone for showing a lot of effort:

Hey Kong Yaw!

We really enjoyed the company-wide bonding event that you spent so much time planning for us. It brought us together even though the event was held online and all of us joined from our homes. Here's a little gift to express our appreciation for your good work! We heard that you enjoy drinking coffee so we purchased some ground coffee beans. We look forward to our next virtual catch-up organised by you!

Best regards,

See Toh

Related: 101 Examples of How to Say "Thank You for Your Time" at Work

Buy a present

If you have the budget, you may wish to buy a present to express your thanks. Consider if the gift recipient has expressed a desire for anything recently if you're unsure of what to purchase. Presenting a gift also indicates sincerity as you took the time to purchase something for someone else. Here are some common gift options that could express your appreciation:

  • Bag

  • Belt

  • Book

  • Bookmark

  • Chocolate

  • Coffee beans

  • Computer mouse

  • Customised cup

  • Dining vouchers

  • Flowers

  • Frozen yoghurt

  • Gift card

  • Gift cards for a video streaming site subscription

  • Hair accessories

  • Hand cream

  • Magazine subscription

  • Moisturiser

  • Movie tickets

  • New shoes

  • Notebook

  • Personalised pen

  • Photo frame

  • Polaroid camera

  • Scented candle

  • Small plan

  • Snacks

  • Soft toy

  • Spa vouchers

  • Tie

  • Wallet

Related: What Is a Performance Bonus? Benefits, Types and Components

Provide good feedback to their manager

Another way to express appreciation for good work can be to provide good feedback about the person to the person's manager or superior. This gives the person the recognition they deserve and also alerts their manager to the good relationships that person has built in the company. This good feedback can even help the person you thank increase their ratings during the annual performance review and receive an increment in their compensation.

You may decide to give feedback through formal routes such as during a structured peer evaluation exercise. Alternatively, you may choose to simply reach out to the person's manager to let them know about your colleague's good work. Here are some examples of how to provide feedback:

A note of praise

Here's an example you can use to praise the professional for their work:

Hi Mr Chan,

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to commend Sabrina Lee from your engineering team. Our product development team recently worked with her to develop an update for our game, Kids Kones, and her work has been stellar. She delivered high-quality work in record times and there were minimal revisions made to her work. Our team was very impressed by her dedication and strong work ethic. We hope you can convey our thanks to her.

Kind regards,

Ken Lee and Cherry Toh (Product Development Team)

A note highlighting their strengths

Here's a note you may reference when writing a note to highlight a team member's strengths:

Dear Mr Lee,

I am writing this email to give you feedback about Sally's work performance. She works very hard and is a staff member who consistently delivers excellent work. She meets tight deadlines and displays resilience in her work. Sally is a strong communicator and a good team player.

Best regards,

Lily Goh

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