Who’s the mid-level associate who always brings the project in on time and under budget, even though he’s not the one ultimately responsible for the project? Who’s the administrative assistant that everyone goes to with this request: “I know it’s not your job to do this, but I really need help. Can you do XYZ for me?” And the answer is always, “Sure. Happy to help.”
Those are your hidden power players. Unfortunately, they are also the ones most frequently forgotten in traditional elitist recognition programs that focus on the top 10% in an organization. Often, their direct managers are unaware of how much help they lend to others outside of their official job descriptions. What happens when they’re not appreciated for their efforts?
This letter sent in to the “What Would Bing Do” column of Bnet is an excellent example of this reality:
“In two years on the job, I’ve done some serious tasks that required trained skills in the administrative area. I make everyone look good to the state. But while they’re making state money, I only get minimum wage — and to top it off, when it’s time for recognition and they receive their little award, there is no mention of my contribution. I feel used and abused and also frustrated. Am I asking too much?”Bing’s advice to this letter writer was to find another job where she would be appreciated.
Rather than lose your true, if hidden, power players, bring their accomplishments to light through a formal peer-to-peer recognition program that allows anyone to express detailed appreciation for assistance given through a process that alerts the power player’s manager to their excellent contributions as well.