Recognition at Work

It is always nice to get some recognition  from your workplace.  Something to say: thanks for doing a good job.  I recently was got some recognition twice this week which in both cases did make me feel good about the work I do.

The first was very simple.  My manger dropped off a small bag of candy at my desk with a Christmas card.  In the card was a hand written note thanking me for my contributions this year to the group with specific examples of what was meaningful to her.  While this form of recognition was fairly simple, it was very effective to let me know I was valued at work and someone appreciated what I do.  I think what really makes this special is the fact I don’t expect it.  After all this is from my boss’s boss, so for her to take the time to drop something off was nice.

The second piece of recognition was much more formal and public.  I was invited back to a meeting of the Regina Public School Board where I was formally presented with a very nice looking award for my years of service to the Board.  Again this was somewhat unexpected, because I knew the Board was honouring one of the other trustees, but I didn’t expect something for me.  It was also very nice to visit with the group and see everyone just prior the the holidays.

In both cases, I didn’t get anything worth a significant amount of money.  So while a cash bonus is sort of nice, when you expect it, the bonus becomes less meaningful.  It was the effort by those people to make me feel important just for a minute that was nice.  It reminded me a of quote from a class on customer care where the instructor said “Imagine people are walking around with signs on their forehead that say: Make Me Feel Important.”  Everyone loves that feeling and you don’t have to work with someone to provide it.  You can also do small things at home to make your loved ones feel important.  Again it doesn’t have to involve a lot of money, flowers when they aren’t expected are worth more than roses on Valentines day.

So in the end, I have to say I like recognition, but I don’t care if there is a lot of money involved.  It’s the unexpected act that matters most to me.  So how do you like your recognition?  Formal or informal? Private or public?


7 thoughts on “Recognition at Work”

  1. It depends on the situation. I’d say private in most situations, however if a team I’m on is getting recognized (i.e. management team) in a public way, if we are being named, be sure to name everyone unless instructed by them not to. The feeling of being left out or forgotten that scenario takes a lot of getting over.

  2. Back in the 1990s in my working years, we had some teamwork/morale taskforces (I was on some of them) which made several suggestions. And to my surprise, many of them were approved by management (I was just promoted to supervisor at the time) although some needed approvals from the very top levels.

    One of the less formal suggestions was how to better handle and acknowledge positive actions by our staff, from everyday thanks to more frequent, special (monetary) awards within our division (better to give out five $100 awards than one $500 award). These recognitions were done in private.

    One phrase I heard in my early days of working (back in the 1980s) which I made sure to say more, both for me and for others, was a somewhat funny response to when someone outside your work unit thought you did a good job on something or provided good service:

    “Don’t tell me, tell my boss!”

  3. I’d love ANY acknowledgement of my work. I work for government and since they can’t give us monetary bonuses they seem to forget that we need feedback at all. I didn’t even get a performance review for two years running. When I got one it said I was doing great, but really, too little too late. I think that a card saying things I’d done that were impressive would send me over the moon! You need to thank your manager and ensure they keep doing that kind of thing! 🙂

  4. I am happy with just a nice compliment or heartfelt thanks. I remember those long after the bonuses are spent (not that I don’t appreciate the bonuses too 🙂

  5. Although I’ve often said I will work for pats on the head, my best recognition has come from 4-5 figure bonuses given on the down low. I’ve had a couple of Aspergers-ish directors that couldn’t say thank you or good job if you begged for it, but the money talked for them. Most numbers people are kind of oblivious about human motivation so you’ve got to cut them some slack.

  6. @LAT, I did say thank you to my manager for the gift. After all that kind of good deed needs to be encouraged. People aren’t cogs in machines and it is nice to be reminded of that fact.

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