Working without recognition gets old

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Recognition… We all know how good it feels to receive it and we all know how valuable it is to give to others, right? Apparently, that isn’t enough to make it a consistent action in workplaces! Gallup found that lack of workplace appreciation is a major concern among employees.

So why isn’t appreciation flowing in abundance in the workplace? Maybe the competitive nature is too high; maybe your boss thinks paying your salary is enough; maybe your coworkers are a little awkward or unfamiliar with verbally praising others. If you want more recognition and appreciation in your workplace, it might be time for YOU to get things moving!

Start by handing out recognition to others:

  1. Toss whatever ego you have to the side and share credit where it’s due. Prove to your team that you’re interested in everyone. They will likely turn around and do the same for you, so it’s a win-win.
  2. When you’re praising those around you, be skillful and specific with your feedback. The recipients will find it much more effective than blanket statements. If somebody on your team is a whiz with cash flow statements, whereas somebody else has a knack for payroll, tell them so!
  3. Does your organization have established recognition programs? If so, dive in and be a little more enthusiastic about your participation. Who knows, maybe you’ll get your picture on the wall as Employee of the Month!
  4. Small talk can seem like a waste of time when you’re busy. Rest assured it is worth your time! Get to know your colleagues, truly listening to what they say. Instead of shooting an email to your coworker, walk to their office for a quick chat.
  5. Build and grow a habit of helping others, both in and out of your office. You need a network built on relationships with those who believe in you and your abilities.

There are also strategic ways to earn recognition for yourself:

  1. Your team and coworkers see your skills and talents in a way that you can’t see, due to the blinders we all have when self reflecting. Leverage this and ask others for feedback. And don’t ask for feedback just to ask… sincerely listen to the feedback! Use it to learn and grow in your work and in your relationships.
  2. Start a “success journal”, making note of your achievements. You never know when you might need to pull from this list for a performance evaluation, a new job interview, a social media post, etcetera. Plus, it will boost your confidence to see all the good things you’ve accomplished!
  3. If you want to be at the forefront of your profession and industry, you must remain knowledgeable about industry news, best practices, technology changes. You can do this by carving out some time weekly to read annual reports and news stories, attend conferences and networking events.
  4. When you receive recognition, hold on tight to those words and be gracious in your response and acceptance. Whoever complimented you should know how they made your day! Let the compliment soak in without feeling self-conscious, even though it’s not always the most comfortable.
  5. Wherever your relationship is at with your boss, you can work at making it a healthier and more positive relationship. Make notes of their priorities and see how you can incorporate them into your work, as alignment will make success come so much easier for your team.
  6. How does your position fit into the overarching goals of the organization? Take some time to strategize how you can take on more responsibility and capitalize in your position, elevating your organization at the same time.
  7. Simply act confident! Stand tall, be calm in your gestures, talk a little slower when you have the floor, make eye contact, and use your voice wisely when given the chance. You are in your position for a reason, so own it with confidence.

These tips aren’t a fix-all for infiltrating your workplace or team with a natural culture of recognition, but it’s a start! Be intentional about how you’re recognizing others and attracting recognition. Hopefully it causes a ripple effect and with time, recognition becomes a normalized behavior in your office.

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