There is nothing more frustrating than your coworker getting more recognition for the work you both completed well. It is not something new; it has happened with me, and I am sure you might have experienced it in your life.
Sometimes you do most of the work, but in the end, it’s your colleague who gets recognized for it.
If you are in a situation similar to this, what will you do? Will you speak up or choose to remain quiet? How will you deal with the problem?
Employee recognition has been the foundation of effective management. But some companies failed to give importance to this matter. As a result, they lose their best employees.
According to Gallup’s study, only one in three U.S. employees believed that they are recognized fairly for their work. Moreover, Gallup’s poll reveals that 65% of employees were not at all recognized for the work they have done.
It is a must for every company to set up an employee recognition program to boost their retention rate and reduce their turnover.
According to a survey conducted by SurveyMonkey.com, around 63% of employees would stay in a company that recognizes their efforts.
Problem #1 – The Feeling of Underappreciated
My former coworker was an exemptional employee. Whenever we had projects, she made sure it was perfect and completed them on time. I envied her for her dedication to the company. During the planning stage, the work was divided among the team equally.
Like other teams, one or two members would fall short and won’t work well. She would usually take over and do the things that other members should have done. And sadly, during the completion, she was not recognized fairly.
She let two projects pass without any complaint. But the recent project we completed was different. It was very obvious that she finished half of the project. I was hoping that the big bosses would finally recognize her excellent work. Unfortunately, it did not happen. Instead, they recognized another member who was not worth it.
She was so disappointed that she decided to leave the company. I was affected by this and was planning to transfer as well to another company. I had some questions in mind. If this will happen to me in the future, whom should I talk to? Should I brag about my work to get recognized? If this situation continues, how long should I stay?
The company should deal with the feeling of underappreciated right away. If not, the company will lose its good employees, and others will benefit from hiring them.
Here are some of the best solutions if you are in this situation:
Solution #1 – Keep Your Superiors in the Loop
If your boss is clueless about your efforts and what you did to help the team perform well, you should make it a habit to keep your superiors informed. Of course, you don’t want it to look as if you are getting everybody’s attention or being self-centered. Here are tips on how you should do it.
- Inform your manager regularly
Most of my friends working in big companies rarely talk with their bosses. That avoidance can result from a stressful employee-boss relationship. One of the reasons you are not conversing regularly with your bosses is they are too busy to accommodate you.
No matter what the reasons are, this is a significant career mistake. You cannot assume your bosses know everything, what you are up to, the impressive progress you have made, or the problems you have overcome unless you provide them the information.
Do not wait for the annual review, as your previous accomplishments will be considered old. Furthermore, you will be battling to stand out among the recent reviews done and to your colleagues who are pushing their achievements.
The best thing to do is to inform your bosses regularly, maybe two times a month, so they will have a better view of what is going on and what you have done so far. Also, mention what the other teams or colleagues have completed. Doing this will not look like you own all the credits, and you are too eager to get recognized.
By communicating with them regularly, you will remind your superiors of your value and remember it all year round, instead of only once a year.
- Report results and not just your activities
Do not just tell your superiors you have called the clients, held meetings to create a better plan, and others. You are expected to do them, so you don’t have to report them. What you should tell your bosses are the results of your works. Tell them the impact of those activities on the organization. Explain the impact of those activities and how these will help the company.
So, instead of saying, “I met with our clients last week and discussed the incoming project.” You can say, “The meeting with our clients works out well, and they are excited about the project. They want us to start with it as soon as possible”.
You can even consider the idea of creating a report about the impact that project made on the business and share it across your team, this way they know who is the one leading it (as it shows your concern towards the project).
- Let your colleagues or customers tell your boss of what you have done.
If you have done something great and your teammates express appreciation, you can ask them to mention it to your boss. And if the work involves your clients, it would help if they give feedback about it. Managers would be happy to hear good reviews from their customers. You will surely get praises and recognition for this.
Your teammates can make a short note describing how you complete the task and exceed what was expected from the team. Your colleagues can do it during the weekly meeting or when your boss randomly talk to them.
Solution #2 –
Check the company’s employee recognition program
Before you get frustrated and sad over your coworker’s recognition, it would help if you ask around about the company’s employee recognition program. Companies are aware that employees don’t just want to get a good salary and benefits. They also wish to be treated fairly, to be appreciated and valued for their work.
To show appreciation, many companies implement an employee recognition program. It is their way of recognizing the best employee and its contribution to the company. Based on the recent survey conducted by SHRM, around 80% of companies have an employee recognition program.
Recognition is given depending on the following factors:
- The length of service, generally in 5-year increments.
- Remarkable performance within a certain period- this is given to employees who add quality to work.
- One-time achievement, sometimes with a cash incentive or a raise in salary
The recognition is given in the form of spot cash or bonuses. Some companies would reward their best employees with vacation packages for their achievement, and others offer nonmonetary awards like public recognition or certificate or trophies.
If you were not recognized today, even if you have worked hard and was given to your co-employee who works less, don’t be sad. Maybe your bosses have considered other factors in the past that makes them recognize your coworker.
Although most companies generally recognize employees’ length-of-service milestones, some focus on less traditional recognition areas.
Some of them are the following:
- The ability to handle change.
- Systems improvements.
- Market diversification.
- Customer retention
- Crucial personal development
- Technological advances
If your co-employee gets the recognition you are hoping to get, do not feel bad. Perhaps it is not yet your time, or someone else has an edge you are not aware of. Get back on your feet and perform well or exceed your last performance.
Maybe you will get the recognition you have been waiting for on the next project. Recognize others the way you want to be recognized.
Keep the following solutions in mind, and you will surely get the recognition that you want.
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