PCO in the Know

The Anatomy of a Compliment —

PCOs already know that managing people is their most important job. We can’t operate and grow without having people. The vast majority of PCOs list their people (or the ever-present “Culture”) as to what makes their company better—their “secret sauce.” Learning how to compliment their staff is an underrated and underdeveloped practice.

Based on the simple premise that PEOPLE WHO FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES DO A BETTER JOB—to reinforce the value, let’s dissect the anatomy of a well-done compliment.

Here are the three basic rules of a great compliment:

  • Be specific
  • Be focused
  • Don’t water down the moment

Being specific requires something that the employee did that you can cover. It can be basic and usually repeatable.  “Joe, it was great how you called Mr. Brown after a service to clarify the notes you left.” General compliments like “you do a great job” only work marginally well.

Being focused requires having the person being complimented with their undivided attention. I recommend getting the approval of the employee for a private moment before you cover what they did well. The impact you get from this is exponential. The impact you have in this setting is game-changing.

When you keep talking or covering other topics you will likely water down the moment. To mention “opportunities for improvement” afterward would negate the previous complimentary statement. Let the positive moment ruminate.

I complimented an employee on how well his truck was organized. When I saw his wife at church she thanked me for saying that to her husband. He mentioned it three times over the weekend. His wife and family benefited from a person who feels good about himself.

Bob Williamson, Pest & Lawn Director
February 2024

PCO in the Know | Blog #5


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We were very pleased to have such a knowledgeable and experienced company in our corner with the team at Cetane. It was obvious that they knew the best process and how to get the ball over the goal line. Their advice throughout the process was greatly appreciated and we thoroughly enjoyed working with them.

— Steve Lombardi, Brodeur’s Oil, Moosup, CT