As a mother of three young children, I quickly learned the power of positive reinforcement. The best way to get your kid to continue doing the things you want them to do is to catch them doing it and praise them for their efforts. They soak up the attention like a sponge! What I never realized was how much, even as an adult, I still value recognition of a job well done.
For two months over the summer I had the opportunity to work for a client as a full-time, on-site consultant. It was a nice change of pace for me (since I normally work out of my house) to get dressed up, commute and interact with people all day. The work was intellectually stimulating and the team I worked with was very welcoming and helpful. The weeks went by with me striving to contribute as much as I could in the relatively short time period of my assignment.
Since I was just a “temporary” team member, I assumed that on my last day a few people might simply say thank you and I would quietly leave and move on to my next project. Imagine how surprised I was when at the last team meeting, I was presented with the “U Rock” for making a valued contribution and being a positive, upbeat member of the group. What an awesome company culture to be a part of where EVERYONE’S contributions are valued and recognized – no matter if you’ve been there for 20 years or 20 days. I hope the people who work there realize how lucky they are to have leaders who understand the awesome power of positive recognition and showing appreciation. It is a moment I will always remember as I continue the practice of positive reinforcement in my personal and professional lives.