Stamp Tramp!

Tonight I caught an episode of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother and boy I’m glad I did because it was not only hilarious but totally related to an HR topic, employee referrals! But before we go further I must clarify the STAMP TRAMP is not to be confused with the infamous TRAMP STAMP, totally different meanings! The stamp tramp is a person that gives their “stamp” of approval on almost anything, thus losing the value of their approval. Others begin to question the stamp tramps standards for recommending products, services, friends etc when their recommendations are less than stellar. (Check out a clip from Stamp Tramp, here.)

In this episode Marshall runs into an acquaintance and fellow practicing lawyer who appears down on his luck. Marshall decides to help him out by scoring him an interview with his boss. Long story short his acquaintance blows the interview and royally offenses Marshall’s boss. As a result of this poor employee referral Marshall’s boss pulls him off a major case. His boss lost trust in Marshall’s judgement. Marshall had to do a lot to rebuild that trust and value in his recommendations. Building trust and a good reputation can take a great deal of time and effort. It’s important to be considerate of your reputation when referring a friend or family member to a position at your company.

How can you avoid a stamp tramp situation? 

Treat the person you are referring as an extension of yourself. How will they represent your brand?

Pretend it’s your company. Would you hire this person?

If you have any concerns or doubts about referring a friend, family member or acquaintance dig deeper. Are your concerns valid? If they are you may not want to refer that person.

Depending on the role you hold at work you may “have” to refer certain people. In that case be honest with the hiring authority. If you don’t know that persons’ work history or work ethic let the company know and they can decide whether your referral is a good fit. You’ve done your part!

Lastly, if you do refer someone who is “bad hire” don’t beat yourself up about it. Just learn from your mistakes and don’t turn into a stamp tramp! Stamping your approval on everything will make your stamps meaningless. To keep your value and weight with employee referrals, in addition to the advice above, you may want to give the people who ask you for a referral a mini interview. If they pass refer them, if they don’t….tell them to take a hike! Just kidding, find a kinder way to break the news.

All you need are these 3 steps to change your life!

Self-improvement and personal development and growth are a constant in my mind. I seek self-improvement literature in all forms of media. While, I appreciate this content and often times learn from it and grow I struggle with the presentation of these articles and sources. I’ve come to dislike the consistent underlying negative message that communicated. The message “you’re not good enough as you are.” I understand their are circumstances where humans need to change. I’m not talking about those sensitive topics, I’m addressing the “surface level”, quick fix topics in the self-improvement world.

Looking around my room I see some of the headlines on the popular magazines I subscribe to, here are the messages I see “Fight flab and win”, “10 tips to happiness”, “5 ways to get co-workers to like you etcetera”, you get the idea.  These messages tell me “Bonnie, you’re not good enough. You must change your life, and the only way you achieve this is by reading this article, buying this book, attending this conference, attending this workshop, signing up for this 8-weeks class.” Again, you get the point. Yes, I know much is this marketing, and attention getting methods to increases sales, etc. However, I have to wonder if there is a positive way to communicate self-improvement materials? For example, “You are so awesome. Here is some advice to the next level, awesomeness.” (Ok, you can tell I wouldn’t have cut it in marketing and PR:)

Don’t get me wrong I truly enjoy reading self-improvement materials. Learning, growing and being enlighten is all part of this beautiful journey. Enhancements are great, but I also love me for me. I don’t want to change the core of me.

We hold the power to reset our minds before engaging in the journey of self-improvement to self-enhancement. This will enable us the ability to value and appreciate ourselves just the way we are, and we won’t loose sight of our core being. Lets compare ourselves to cars, not just any car but lets say…I don’t know um…an Aston Martin. You are top of the line, best quality money can buy; anything additional is purely an enhancement!

Before you pick that next self-improvement literature or attend the next conference say to yourself I’m good enough. I’m smart enough and doggone it people like me. ~Stuart Smalley

This is my journey of self-enhancement!