You Deserve It!

MSN/ recently published an article on getting the recognition you deserve. While I strongly believe that managers and co-workers should look for opportunities to acknowledge the efforts of their staff and peers, I also know that sometimes we need to help them see the value of the great work we do. This article does offer seven tips for getting you recognition you deserve at work.

However, I found comments in the article on “recognition that misses the mark” much more interesting. Direct quotes from real employees: “Please, not another t-shirt!” “I resent the money that’s spent to purchase doodads. It could be spent so much more wisely.” “Certificate of appreciation? I hate the damn things.”

While many surveys have been conducted that show that employees leave their positions because of lack of recognition, this article raises the point that many are also leaving their jobs because they aren’t receiving the kind of recognition they want.

As the researcher quoted in the article says, “One employee told me he would be happy if his boss even know he existed. Another told me how much harder she worked when she had the cubicle outside her boss’s office. She was intimidated, but visible. They want to know their work is meaningful.”

This quotation concerns me on two levels. First, both employees are describing a culture of intimidation in their workplace. Not only should these bosses acknowledge the existence of the employees, but more importantly they should foster a culture of appreciation in which the employees are very aware of the department goals, how their efforts help to meet those goals, and the individual value that they bring to the process.

And this brings me to my second concern – we all want to know that what we spend the majority of our time doing is meaningful. We choose to be at this workplace, away from our families and other commitments – we at least want acknowledgment that there is a purpose. And this is why it is critical for management to clearly communicate how the company’s values are demonstrated through every day activities of employees through a strategic recognition program.

Have you given up on getting recognition? Have you had to engage in self promotion to get the recognition you deserve? Or are you consistently recognized and appreciated for your efforts? Do you know the value of what you do at work every day?

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