The following is part of our series of featured Respect Tips inspired by the Why Respect Matters section of the recently released Respect Effect by Paul Meshanko.

As the old saying goes, “praise pays.” And what’s better than private praise is giving public recognition for a job well done. Oh, and I am not talking about getting an award at an annual employee event for showing up for 10, 20, etc years.

What I am referring to is the unexpected praise that a supervisor or colleague gives you in front of others. This happened to me recently. I was among a group of peers when someone I had been doing a lot of work for – and who I thought had not noticed – publicly lauded that work. She mentioned how helpful I had been and praised certain skills –  I was just developing and still unsure about.

I was taken aback (but in a good way, of course). This public recognition, which was a surprise, left me feeling much more confident in my abilities, since someone else had noticed and decided to tell other people. It made me feel respected among this group and boosted my self-esteem.

Start today

If you usually wait for a big public ceremony to give recognition, try doing it more spontaneously. Catch that employee off guard and let them know (and everyone else) what an outstanding job they are doing. I am pretty confident that they will appreciate this type of public recognition more so than receiving an annual award.