Are you feeling underappreciated at work?

demotivated womanNot every organisation is very good at thanking their staff. Unfortunately, in some organisations, there’s little or no culture of appreciation or recognition. In others, managers are just too busy with their job to stop and say ‘thank you’.

So how can you get the recognition and appreciation you deserve?

A lot of online articles deal with managers appreciating employees, but employee appreciation isn’t necessarily a one way street. You don’t have to sit there waiting for your manager to appreciate or recognise your efforts. You can take some control of the situation, and make an effort to get the recognition you deserve.

 

How to get recognition in your organisation

 

1.    Copy the behaviour of those being recognised

Do some research and find out who is being recognised for their contribution in your organisation. Who is getting mentions in staff meetings? Who do managers or senior leaders say ‘thank you’ to?

Once you know who is getting recognised, use the information to your advantage. What do those people do that gets them recognised? What are their achievements?

However, don’t just try to imitate their achievements. Instead, copy the behaviour that has led to recognition, such as helping out new starters; going the extra mile on a project; or taking on a task that is outside your comfort zone.

Keep in mind that different organisations value different behaviours –  by following the lead of those who are being recognised, you can identify what is appreciated.

2.    Network everywhere

Even if you’re not the most extrovert person, don’t skip the team lunches or the after work social events.

Get to know your colleagues and your boss, and, perhaps, even their managers. Find out what projects they are working on, and develop professional relationships, both inside and outside of work. This may present you with opportunities to help out on a project, or acquire information on the behaviours your organisation values, which may help you attract the recognition you want.

get involvedKeep in mind that, over the last few years, the world has become a giant network, and sometimes it’s not who you know, but who the people you know know.

3.    Volunteer

If you volunteer your services to other departments during times when perhaps your workload is more manageable, then your efforts will earn you kudos and ‘Thank you’ s from your peers and no doubt management will take note.

As an added benefit, you’ll also be able to network, and people will get to know you and your work ethic.

4.    Don’t complain, offer solutions

Nobody likes a complainer. Someone who is a complainer may have a good idea, or be the hardest worker, but failing to voice your frustrations in a positive manner will ensure that it will be difficult to be heard and later recognised for your suggestion.

Rather than moaning about a problem, offer a solution to it. What’s the biggest issue your team is facing? Take the initiative to help your co-workers solve a problem they are having. This builds respect and trust, and allows you to be seen as a ‘can-do’ person rather than a complainer.

Keep in mind what you post on social media channels may be shared, and may do your reputation more harm than good, especially if you are connected to people you work with.

5.    Ask!

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for the recognition you deserve. Talk to your manager about what you’ve been doing at work, and make sure they know of things that you do. Remember, your manager is busy too and may simply not be aware of the amount of effort you’ve put in to a particular project. Show them how you’ve helped a colleague solve a problem, mentored a new starter, or implemented a new process.

It may not be ideal, but in some large organisations, where there is a lot of remote working, a lot of managers don’t actually know what their employees do on a day to day basis.

Keep in mind that, when approaching your manager, you should not be confrontational. Take the approach that you are keeping them informed of everything you are doing, even if it’s not specifically related to your job description. Be sure to link everything back to the bottom line impact your work will make on the organisation’s performance.

John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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