When a friend lands their dream job or a colleague is promoted at work, most people show their support with a quick, "Congratulations!". Although complimenting friends and coworkers on their intelligence, hard work and achievements is important, going a little further than the standard pat on the back can have a significant impact on the quality of your relationships.

According to psychologist and author of The All-or-Nothing Marriage Dr. Eli Finkel, savoring happy times together and supporting people as they make those accomplishments is key to stronger relationships.

When someone is going through a tough phase of their life (a breakup, job loss, family passing, etc.), it's natural to give them a little extra attention and time. Yet, doing the same for when they have accomplishments, even small ones, can strengthen the relationship significantly. Here are two ways that you can show colleagues and friends support:

1. Recognize the win for somebody else.

According to a Gallup poll, recognition has a big influence on employee happiness and workplace culture. Top performers want to feel valued and recognized for their accomplishments, and not just by the CEO. When coworkers recognize each other, it fosters teamwork and engagement. Next time you see your colleague doing a good job, point it out and recognize them, even if the boss has already.

Instead of a generic, "Great job!", point out the details and show interest. Why was their accomplishment so great? If they landed a new client or formed a new partnership, you might say that you were impressed by how they conducted their outreach efforts or how they made connections to get warm introductions. 

2. Match the support to the person.

Cater how you show appreciation to the individual. Think about how they would like to be recognized. In general, rather than say, "Hey, nice work," people should stop what they are doing and give a little more attention. Taking just a little bit of extra time to savor accomplishments makes a big difference. It could mean stepping away from the computer for a second to make a broader announcement, having the office break off for happy hour, or taking a colleague out for lunch. 

We all experience small and big wins throughout the course of our careers and our personal lives. When someone puts in just a little extra time and effort, we notice and appreciate them more. In the office, showing support in these two ways can strengthen employee relationships, foster teamwork and create a high-morale working environment.

The next time a spouse, colleague, friend or family member has a win, take them out for a meal or drinks. Supporting them in both good and bad times will make a significant impact on the quality of relationships overall.

Published on: Dec 27, 2017