Recognition At Work

Recognition At Work

Over the years, while working as a trainer with professionals in various types of industries, as well as a Life Coach, I have been gathering comments, frustration, complaints about the lack of recognition at work…

If only someone recognized the work I am doing, it would make a huge difference!

Employees who do not feel adequately recognized tend to lose motivation and think more about quitting their job. Motivation derives from how deeply employees feel connected to what they have done for the company, and to how much the employer appreciates them. There are several approaches that an employer can do and in this article I will provide a series of tips and ideas to nurture the topic of recognition at work from both the employees and the employer’s perspectives. The bottom line is, it pays to acknowledge a job well done.

What are we talking about?

Employee recognition is really the act of acknowledging the hard work of your employees and their accomplishments. Obviously it is not just a simple act, but it goes well beyond that. It consists of conceiving an emotional connection with your employees and the company, supporting the work of the employees and keeping in alignment with the company’s core values. Just like in any other relationship between two people, employees want to feel appreciated, valued, and respected.

Over time, when these conditions are not perceived by the employees, motivation begins to diminish and this will have a negative impact on productivity. Motivation however behaves in different ways meaning that what motivates one person does not motivate another one. Therefore, the form of recognition that a company decides to adopt needs to be customized and flexible enough to engage people in various ways.

Where does recognition begin?

If you want others to recognize you, you have to value yourself on a daily basis. If you want to see change at work, start from yourself. As an employee, to value what you accomplish every day it means first of all to understand that your employer has to own clear elements in order to comprehend what you are doing and how important that is. Do not think for a second that the recognition you deserve depends only on your employer. In fact, it begins from each employee and from a meaningful and regular appreciation strategy.

As an employee, what can you do?

First of all, an employee should clarify what kind of expectations he has in terms of valuing his work and ask himself a few questions. What would you like to do differently? How much would you like to earn? What kind of recognition signs would you like to receive? What role within the company would you like to have? To feel appreciated what should occur? These are some of the questions any good conscientious employee can ask himself. The answers to these questions represent the baseline to use to establish a final goal. For example, one could aspire to a different role within the company, and in light of this goal could also formulate a communication strategy to adopt with his manager in order to be effective. Build your own roadmap! Here are 4 tips an employee can do.

1.Gather elements of appreciation. You need to be ready for a potential conversation about your work and the evaluation of what you do. That’s why it is important to gather insights, data, information that might be useful. For example, make a list of all the positive things you do every day or of the decisions you have taken that generated good results. This is to have vivid in your memory all those elements that in a conversation could come handy to show the tangible value of your work.

2.Share what is important for you. Find the way to explain in clear terms what is really important for you. Do this so that your manager will understand what to do to value your work. You want to explain which actions your manager can put into place to show that he wants to value what you do. Maybe what you want is a simple thank you email, perhaps it is a formal announcement within the group, maybe more responsibility. 

3.Make what you do visible. Nurture your ideas and share them with others. Generate suggestions and new approaches with generosity, don’t be afraid if someone will steal them from you. Your imprinting will always set a distance between you and the others.

4.Create innovation! Conceive your work as a laboratory bucket where the appreciation of what you do is something that you feed on a daily basis: Increase your competences, formulate new ideas, create new approaches to launch projects. If you will do this, it will be easier to find a solution that will allow you to value what you do.

As an employer, what can you do?

1.Create connections. If as a company you are capable to create an emotional bond with your employees, people will feel connected. When people feel they belong to an entity, a group, or an organization, they tend to give the best of what they have. Company wins, business achievements, or employee anniversaries are all opportunities to create that connection and generate a strong attachment.

2.Recognize workers. Recognizing the accomplishments of the employees at a company meeting is rewarding and in addition is a great example for the rest of the people to emulate.

3.Support development. Recognition can also be provided by supporting career development of the employees through specific training classes, coaching sessions, advanced academic degrees, and any training course applicable to the role of the employee. Recognizing an employee’s desire to learn is a powerful tool to gain his loyalty.

4.Create an appreciation program. When an employee sees another one accomplishing something exceptional, they nominate him for a recognition certificate. At the end of each quarter, a list of names is put together and the top five employees get rewards in the form of points, redeemable online or at stores for a variety of gifts. These programs are usually quite simple and give employees a more tangible gratification of being recognized for the good of what they do.

Peer-to-peer recognition

It is also gratifying to receive recognition from your peers. There are recognition programs that send out digital emails linked to the employee recognition platform. Based on the amount of recognition messages sent to the platform, custom-made emails are delivered to an employee to recognize his work and say “Thank you”.

Don’t wait too long to say Thank you! 

When you see an employee creating something extraordinary, don’t miss the opportunity to say “You did a great job!”. Do it with insight and specific details, and in a timely manner. Show your appreciation immediately and explain the reason why you think it is a job note worthy. This will create enthusiasm and will motivate to do more the next time.


Recognition at work is truly essential to keep morale, motivation, and productivity high. However, it is not enough to get hired and just be good at what you do to receive recognition. Every employee has to work at it going the extra mile and providing extraordinary results. Companies should invest in an appreciation program to keep their employees happy and satisfied. Loving what you do is great, feeling gratified with a simple “Thank you” goes a long way.