Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google recently gave some important leadership tips to the MBA students at Stanford University. One of them was a very short four worded advice, "Reward efforts, not outcome". Appreciate the effort not the result. He further added that a company or an organization rewards a person only by the results he/she has achieved. By doing this, there is a high likelihood of the company becoming conservative going ahead with a tendency to become extremely selfish and opportunistic. Within the contemporary office culture, it is observed that corporates only reward those who perform well with either cash, trophies or certificates. This is a good thing as far as it motivates and encourages a person to perform better. But on the flip side, it also results in employees who have performed a little less getting neglected. It leaves people heart broken. More than often, thanks to office politics, a truly deserving person doesn't get awarded, while a non deserving person walks away with the accolades.
According to a Gallup survey, less than one-third of American employees receive appreciation from their bosses. Not appreciating an employee's work is unhealthy for both the employee and the company. If a person is applauded for his efforts, his productivity increases even at the least minimum by as much as 10%. Lack of appreciation leads to employees secretly preparing to move to another company.
By giving personal praise..
1) A person's progress is fast tracked.
2) It increases his positivity.
3) It also raises dopamine levels in people which makes them feel happy with an added sense of pride.
4) Oxytocin levels too increase in the worker resulting in an overall positive effect on his work.
True praise has many benefits, which are well recognised by good empathetic leaders.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj truly understood the definition of praise. He well appreciated and applauded all those who came in his contact. Along with that, he would also gently encourage the person to continue progressing. In this regard, it is worth mentioning P. Chinmaya swami's example. Pramukh Swami Maharaj deeply wished that the saints study Sanskrit and used to encourage them in this regard either by way of writing letters or in person. At that time a Sanskrit school was set up in the Mumbai temple. Also, Pandits were employed on high salaries to tutor the saints. To further ease the workload on the saints studying Sanskrit, their religious travels to the village were suspended for some time. The entire fourth floor of the building was reserved as the reading room, library and Sanskrit school such that the saints in Akshar Bhavan could fully concentrate on their studies. Despite all these facilities, P. Chinmay Swami failed in the First Class examination held for Sanskrit in 1984. He started thinking about how he to convey his results to Swamiji. Then he wrote a letter asking Swamiji for forgiveness. Swamiji was on a Spiritual tour of America at that time. As soon as Swamiji recieved P. Chinmay Swami's letter, he wrote back to him from Massachusetts city. When Chinmay Swami received the letter in Mumbai, his hands began to shiver a little. What could Swamiji have written in the letter? What will those words of rebuke be? Panicking slightly, he started reading the letter.
Blessings to you for passing from the left hand side. Now stay strong and try again. May you have peace. (dated 21 .7. 84) '
Chinmay swami was overwhelmed by such an unimaginably sweet and blissful rebuke. There and then, he was determined to try harder to study Sanskrit and become a scholar to serve the organization and the society. Not only was he clever, but with such an intimate letter from Swamiji, he was motivated and inspired to work harder. It was Swamiji's uniqueness that not only would he always reward people's successful efforts but would also take into his stride even a small failed effort of a person with ease. He would commend the person for it with very nice jovial words and at the same time would give loving motivation to the individual to resume putting all efforts to move forward. Such was Pramukh Swami Maharaj. If we all learn from him, we will never underestimate anyone's small or failed efforts. Especially in the case of children in particular, we are better off trying this remedial solution rather than bullying, or intimidating them into performing better.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Sadhu Amrutvadandas. We thank swamiji for his research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about life and peace being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.