No recognition for you? Relax, it’s not doomsday yet

Instead of it demotivating you, it should encourage you to achieve greater milestones which can lead to larger successes

OC Tanner
Published: 12, Jul 2016

O.C. Tanner, featured on the 2016 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list. We help organisations create great work environments by inspiring and appreciating great work. Thousands of clients globally use the company’s cloud-based technology, strategy & design services, mobile application, awards, employee communication and education services to engage talent, increase performance, drive goals, and create experiences that fuel the human spirit. Visit: www.octanner.com/in

What good individuals do to spring back from adversity is to sit back and introspect if the supervisors or the peers even knew what they just accomplished. (Photo: Shutterstock)
What good individuals do to spring back from adversity is to sit back and introspect if the supervisors or the peers even knew what they just accomplished. (Photo: Shutterstock)

In today’s busy corporate world, while our peers and supervisors are always busy trying to do a good job, they at times, just like us for no fault of theirs, tend to overlook some great work. In the pursuit of excellence, acknowledging a good job somehow is missed upon, which then leads to crestfallen morale or a sense of worthlessness.

However, not getting recognised is definitely not the end of the world. At times, it does egg us on to achieve greater milestones, which are unmistakable and lead on to larger successes. A great example to quote herein will be of ecommerce baron and founder of Alibaba.com, Jack Ma, whose acumen went unrecognised from various places, including KFC for a job and Harvard for education. Today, Ma is among the biggest business tycoons who has redefined the internet shopping spectrum and has established himself among the hallmarks of great businessmen.

The problem of scarce recognition is more profound in the Indian society. Here the environment has been such that we are not always generous with our appreciation and praises since it was rarely given to us. So even when we have to recognise someone, most people would deliberate if a particular deed really deserves appreciation, or is it just the standard operation. More acute is the case with managers who somehow justify not giving recognition, lest the employees ask for increments and promotions. With all of these beliefs, there is a good enough reason to justify someone overlooking an achievement and it is only fair that we should give the benefit of the doubt to the individual who you thought overlooked your great work.

When one gets de-motivated, they tend to pull down upon their performance and engagement levels and create a ripple effect of negativity among team members or with the boss. It finally backfires because it shows that as an individual, one has not risen to the level of the situation, but has only succumbed to the pressure of negative thoughts, which they themselves created in their minds.

Being negative is easy, but pulling oneself through is the tough ask. Rather than sulking about not getting recognised, one should be on the lookout for the real reason for not getting recognised or what steps to take so that a good job is not overlooked the next time.

What good individuals do to spring back from adversity is to sit back and introspect if the supervisors or the peers even knew what they just accomplished. They also make it a point to check if the work done was an accomplishment in itself or was it just an expectation in their minds.

Some basic questions to ask upon, before setting personal expectations are:

  • Did I set the objective of my project upfront?
  • Did I articulate the accomplishment or my efforts so they were in alignment with  what the company objective was?
  • Was this accomplishment a priority or expectation from my supervisor?

Once you have these answers, the trick is to write down what one could do differently so that everyone concerned with the project becomes aware of your accomplishments.

Following the set method, one could then easily deduce the method of communicating to the supervisor on what and how a particular task was accomplished. Once you are able to do that, the boss also recognises the accomplishment of being recognition-worthy. This will hence lead the supervisor to realise about a past achievement, which may have gone unnoticed, which could now fetch you a higher level of appreciation. What this positive circle of communication does is to allow continuous “pat on the back” moments that keep creating positive recognition culture into the company, allowing the boss to lead these moments by example.

It is worth repeating that not getting enough timely recognition is not the end of the world. There may be a reason that your organisation follows an open recognition environment and encourages peer-to-peer recognition, which may guarantee recognition no sooner or later. Perseverance is the key here, which also gives you a reason to be consistent and try harder in what you do.

Sometimes delayed recognition also allows us to introspect on the level of performance we think is ‘great’ but in actuality could be ‘only good’ as per the supervisor’s expectations. This, therefore, allows us to delve into the quality of work, which we do and allows us to raise the benchmark of our performance along with everyone around us, thus creating a culture of high performance.

Hence, come to think of it as ‘no recognition’ actually helping your performance by raising your own benchmark by giving it one more shot, only harder and better. Remember, in the game of drag racing, the car that throttles the last wins the race. Hence, delayed recognition today may be your blessing in disguise as an opportunity to get recognised tomorrow.

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