Happiness and engagement at work are essential for high productivity, good morale, and strong motivation levels. Businesses can put certain strategies in place to promote this, but on a day-to-day level, an employee’s behavior and interaction with their fellow colleagues can be hugely influential in creating a positive working atmosphere.

In a busy workplace, a simple piece of encouragement or praise can be forgotten, but it could have a huge impact. Here are seven sentiments that some workplaces are severely lacking. Think about how you interact with your team and whether these few phrases could crop up a little more often in your company’s vocabulary.

1. Good job

Although good managers will be well aware of the importance of on-the-spot praise, colleague-to-colleague appreciation can sometimes be slim. Acknowledge the achievements of your fellow workers and be prepared to give a pat on the back where deserved.

2. Thank you

Always acknowledge when someone has gone out of their way for you. Perhaps they worked extra hard to meet a tight deadline or quickly found some important information for you. Particularly when you’re busy, it can be easy to neglect these small words of appreciation.

3. Could you help me?

People are often afraid to ask for help in a work environment. Sometimes they feel it will be looked upon as a sign of incapability or laziness. However, not asking for help when it’s needed can lead to unnecessary stress, an unmanageable workload or poor results. If you need the advice or support of your manager or a fellow colleague – ask for it. You may find that they ask the same of you further down the line.

4. Can I help you?

Of course, your primary focus will be on your own remit, but that shouldn’t be to the detriment of your team. If you’re able to help out a fellow colleague who needs assistance, make it known.

5. I don’t understand

It’s always better to admit when you haven’t followed a discussion or haven’t understood what’s being asked of you. Again, people often worry about revealing they’ve not grasped something fully for fear it will reflect badly on their competence.

However, it’s important to remember that communication is a two-way thing – if you haven’t understood something, it’s possible that it wasn’t communicated effectively enough. Always ask for clarification when needed, it will undoubtedly produce better results.

6. That was me

We all make mistakes and we all have off days. Owning up to an error or a slip-up is part of being human. Your honesty will be appreciated and you can then concentrate on rectifying the problem quickly and moving on.

7. I’m sorry

Following on from the above point, saying sorry is also a respected quality if you have made an error. Apologize and focus on what can be done to prevent it happening again.

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