In a previous post I wrote about “giving yourself a Stanley” when one has done something amazing or otherwise deserving of recognition. Along these lines, I am also an advocate of “giving others a Stanley” when someone else has done something helpful, noteworthy, or wonderful. I rarely miss the opportunity to tell someone “good job,” “I couldn’t have done it without you,” or “thanks a million,” but if possible, I like to congratulate this person in a public forum, in front of as many people as possible, to solidify the importance of the wonderful action taken by the person. There is a lot to be said about praise, and praise that is sincere and given at the time of a job well done will go a long way in improving morale in the workplace or happiness at home. There are a lot of people who have done many things to help me, just as there are a lot of other people who have done many things to help someone else, and taking the time to show appreciation is the least any of us can do. I recently thanked my major professor for all of the things he did to help me, as part of my celebration of a milestone anniversary of my earning a Ph.D. Yes, I am the one who worked hard for my Ph.D., but without Dr. Jack Brigham guiding me, I would not be Dr. Melissa Pigott. It is surprisingly easy to tell someone he/she has done a great job. Try it!
Receiving praise should feel good, and it usually does. But, it has been interesting to observe some of our best performers in the workplace react with surprise when we do praise them. It appears that genuine praise, not of the “everyone gets a trophy variety,” is somewhat rare in the business world. Maybe it is the pace of business and life, or maybe the competitive nature of some environments, but recognizing, and showing appreciation for, good works, is not very time consuming. And, the good will and positive responses to praise are well worth the small amount of time it takes. Whether in work, or other life, environments, praise is importance. In our work, we use the Stanley system as a non threatening way to recognize even small efforts which have been made to help a client, or the company. Running a company is difficult; doing so without support from employees is impossible. When the employees show they are on your side as an employers, acknowledging one’s appreciation for that is important to reinforcing positive actions. So, whether a “Stanley” or through some other mechanism, find ways to reward through praise. And, make it genuine, and make it known to all so that other employees know what actions are worthy of “a Stanley.”