Stop Killing Passion at Work!

Recognize This: You always have the power of recognition.

Last month I received an email from an HR director I’ve corresponded with in the past (full disclosure: this person is not a client of Globoforce). Her role is head of employee engagement and the recognition and reward program. Her email to me was full of anguish over an attempt of recognition that was rejected.

She had nominated a colleague for a prestigious honor within the company. This colleague had demonstrated passion, knowledge, excitement and general excellence in completing a certain project far above and beyond expectations. But because the project was technically within the colleague’s job description, the recognition nomination was denied. The person had been “just doing their job.”

My advice to this person, who simply wanted to be sure her colleague was properly recognized for her efforts, was:

While you may not be able to recognize her through official channels, you do retain the power of recognition. I would recommend you:

1) Write a personal letter to the colleague, one she can keep and take with her wherever her career may take her in the future, expressing how much your colleague did to help you and how greatly you appreciate it.

2) If her boss is someone other than the person who denied the recognition nomination, send your colleague the above letter in an email, copying the boss so the boss will also know the tremendous asset your colleague is to the team.

3) However you can, help this colleague in her career by telling her colleagues and superiors what a wonderful and innovative asset she is.

What additional advice would you have given to ensure the fire of passion for the work wasn’t doused in this conscientious employee (both the one being nominated for recognition and the one trying to give it)?

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