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Today, Monday the 1st of March is the National Compliment Day in the Netherlands. The initiative, in contrast to Valentine’s Day, Secretaries’ Day and Mother and Father’s Day, is not commercially oriented and has spread in recent years as a “warm blanket” over the Netherlands – and internationally, to what is now known as the World Compliment Day. Due to its unique positive and timeless nature the promoters expect it to be another success this year.

“After several years of recession during which focusing on what’s going wrong seems to have prevailed a day to focus and reflect on what’s going right is very welcome,” said Hans Poortvliet, recognition professional and the driving force behind this annual event, prior to last year’s Compliment Day. HSMAI members may also recognise Hans as the former Managing Director of HSMAI’s Dutch chapter, now included as an integral part of HSMAI Region Europe.

The World Compliment Day, in contrast to the afore-mentioned commercially-oriented days, is more widely supported. The day addresses the basic human needs of recognition and appreciation for efforts, but only with sincere and personal attention does a compliment achieve its full effect. The 1st of March is about consciously reflecting on what someone in your area does well and letting that person know he or she is sincerely appreciated. And right now therein lies the power, as this video clip will show (text to continue below):

“A sincere and personal compliment costs nothing but has a huge impact on the recipient” said Poortvliet at the time, continuing: “Because nothing stimulates more, gives more energy and increases productivity and commitment faster than sincere appreciation.”

But beware! The reverse is also true, according to Poortvliet. Lack of attention and appreciation is in fact the primary reason why employees become demoralised volunteers stop contributing and quality and productivity slip, all resulting in society and customers turning their back on companies.

1st of March: at least three compliments!

If on this day every person pays at least three people in his/her environment a genuine and sincere compliment, it will be another special day, which doesn’t go for the Netherlands alone.

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