It’s so obvious and it takes almost no time, yet it’s easy to forget that sometimes the most powerful gift we can give is a compliment. January 24th is National Compliment Day. If it’s been a while since you’ve given an unsolicited compliment, it’s a great time to get back in the habit.

For compliments to be effective, they must be sincere, specific and appropriate. The recipient of your kind comment will pick up on your body language and tone of voice, so don’t give an accolade if you don’t mean it. In the workplace, genuine expressions of appreciation concerning an employee’s skill or behavior will be taken in the spirit in which they are given. The more detailed the compliment, the more your recipient will know that you see and value his or her unique contributions. Saying “Good job” is less meaningful than “You really saved the day in that meeting,” or “we really benefitted from your eagle-eye on that report.”

Although a variety of compliments may spring to mind when you consider boosting your compliment game, make sure to keep them appropriate and professional in the workplace. Focusing overly on someone’s appearance is generally best avoided, especially when speaking to someone of the opposite sex.

The benefits of vocalizing positive observations about your colleagues are countless. Employees who feel valued are likely to perform better when they feel like someone is really seeing what they bring to the table. And giving compliments has been shown to benefit the giver as well—offering kind words to boost others’ self-esteem makes us feel good about ourselves as well. Find someone in your office who’s been going the extra mile and give it a try—seeing them walk out of the room standing a little taller will be all the reward you’ll need.