Dr. Carolyn Wiley, a Business Management professor at Roosevelt University, conducted a review of studies over a 46 year period that asked participants what motivated them in their jobs. What she found was that there was only one response at the top in all four studies: workers want to be recognized for their achievements.
Her findings confirm all the other research around the power of recognition as a motivating factor. But what really interests me is the fact that while professionals like you are VERY aware of how much you feel unrecognized and unappreciated, you are totally clueless of how you do the same thing to others. How many times do you miss opportunities to recognize them?
It’s easier to notice and respond to situations when someone does something out of the ordinary, like bringing you a bowl of ice cream in a long afternoon of hard work or a partner dropping by with a bonus check you weren’t expecting.
But what about the times when people do ordinary things, like getting something to you on time, or are making progress in their development? They are worth noting also.
Some say they avoid acknowledging someone who was “just doing their job.” That’s a pretty lame excuse on your part. You complain you aren’t recognized (for just doing your job), yet you resist acknowledging others when do their job. You don’t like being taken for granted any more than they do. Hmm.
This isn’t about giving trophies. This isn’t giving pats on the back for people breathing. This is about motivating others to do their best. You don’t have to wait until you are recognized before you express appreciation and recognize achievement. Now THAT’s YOUR JOB.