I had a former employee email me out of the blue today just to thank me for the way I did my job some 5 years ago!
We worked for a rather caustic organization that would have one manager pushing down on the next manager, so the dumping of stress down the chain of command was rather common, except in my division. As the Chief Learning Officer I was not about to practice the opposite of what we were training, so I would block all that was rolling down at me from my managers and staff.
Although it was the right thing to do, it took its toll on me after some time and after I left the organization, my team was soon well aware of what I had been doing as they now felt the full force of what I held back from happening to them. I had spoken with all of them after leaving, but I was helpless to prevent the onslaught.
Today, one of these managers was reflecting on the difference I made. She commented that she not only appreciated what I did, but said she realized that not many people would have acted the way I did.
We all spend so much time training managers to recognize the efforts of our staff, and please do not stop those efforts. Today though, I was reminded about how good you can make a manager feel when you Recognize UP!