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Tag Archives: employee praise

Feeling undervalued at work?

Last week I blogged about one idea of what to do when you feel undervalued at work, and specifically by your boss.  It was to spread the word about your good work yourself.  I had promised though that I wanted to share one more idea on this topic.

First, reflective

This strategy is at first reflective.  Ask yourself: What do I need to feel valued?  Keep in mind that the answer to this question will differ greatly from person to person because different people are motivated by different things.  Would you like more flexibility – in your work responsibilities, in your working hours, in where you work?  Is it recognition you need – you just want others to acknowledge that you are making a significant contribution?  If this is it, then do you thrive on public acknowledgement or private appreciation?  Are you seeking more autonomy and decision-making authority?  Or perhaps you’d just like more support or assistance, either on a temporary or permanent basis?  Could it be that getting a bigger expense account or more vacation time would translate to you feeling less undervalued?

Next, active

While your first step is reflective, your next step is active.  Once you know what it is that will stop you from feeling undervalued, only then can you do something to actually get it.  Continue reading

Feeling underappreciated by the boss?

“It’s a good thing I am self-motivated,” said a good friend in a client organization.  “Because if I was looking for appreciation or validation from my boss, I’d be waiting an eternity.”  Sadly, this sentiment is not unique.  Employee survey research repeatedly shows that a significant segment of the workforce feels underappreciated at work.  Which is deeply ironic.  Because employee motivation research also unequivocally shows that employees who are appreciated for their contributions and recognized for their achievements are vastly more satisfied, engaged, motivated and productive than those who are not.

So what should you do?

So what should you do if you feel underappreciated by your immediate supervisor?  Learn to suck it up and live with it?  Well, no.  Just because the boss doesn’t appreciate you doesn’t mean there isn’t value in making sure that your worth is recognized beyond just your immediate department.  If your boss isn’t spreading the word about your good work, then it’s time to toot your own horn.  And yes, if done correctly, it won’t come across as arrogant or conceited or boastful. Continue reading

Long-distance leadership strategy #7: don’t forget to praise!

Six weeks ago, I started a video series on specific strategies to lead virtual teams.  Long-distance leadership can be a challenge; because of physical distance, it takes more effort for a leader to build and maintain high performance in employees. Given the positive response I’ve received, I’m going to keep this series going for a while.  Last week’s tip was to set standards for response times for emails and voice mail.  Today’s strategy to improve your long-distance leadership is: don’t forget to praise your staff regularly.

Don’t forget to praise

Now sure, this strategy – praising employees – is no different than what you would do for your employees who are based in the office, but it’s even more important for your virtual staff.  Why?  Because when it comes to offering praise and feedback, off-site employees are usually the forgotten ones.  Continue reading

Praising employees who are in their 40s and 50s – is it necessary?

KarlMooreI often blog about the value of praising employees (one such post is Frequent and liberal employee recognition and praise creates positive workplaces). So when Dr. Karl Moore, associate professor at the Destautels Faculty of Management at McGill University (and my fellow columnist at The Globe & Mail) recently wrote a piece on this topic, it captured my attention. Why do people in their 40s and 50s receive less praise? published in the Leadership Lab a couple of weeks ago, and in it, Dr. Moore makes four key points. Continue reading

Celebrate your administrative professionals this week!

Celebration2Today kicks off Administrative Professionals Week, a week when leaders in offices around the world thank and celebrate those who keep the engines of organizations running efficiently and effectively. Whether you do it as an individual or corporate activity, or at a social gathering, or at a community event, deliberately and thoughtfully make it a point to applaud your administrative professionals sometime (or several times) in the next five days. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be doing it all year (whenever the opportunity arises to offer positive feedback or praise), but this week is a reminder to do something that often, in the rush of day-to-day responsibilities, slips past many leaders. Ironically, it isn’t until the secretary, administrative assistant or receptionist is absent that most leaders realize exactly how important they are to the successful operation of an enterprise. So don’t wait, do it now.

And how exactly should you celebrate and thank your administrative professionals? Continue reading

Giving credit fairly in a collaborative work environment

One thing I hear often from both leaders and employees is how de-motivating it can be when credit (for an innovative idea, a successful project outcome, or just a job well done) is not given fairly. Invariably, as more and more work is done collaboratively in organizations, it’s hard to assign credit to a single individual; yet so many organizations still have systems that acknowledge and reward individual effort and success. I am often asked how to overcome this apparent contradiction – is giving credit in a collaborative work environment possible without causing friction and tension? The short answer is “yes”. While certainly not easy, here is one proven idea: tie individual recognition to group performance. When you link how you recognize an individual’s performance to how well his/her team overall has done, you are less likely to cause conflict within the team over unfair credit, and more likely to promote teamwork and collaboration towards better results. I have seen this work first-hand repeatedly in client organizations, but to prove my point, let me give you a much more publicly-known example. Continue reading

Frequent and liberal employee recognition and praise creates positive workplaces

I have always maintained that frequent and liberal employee recognition and praise is fundamental to creating positive workplaces.  In their 2004 book How Full is Your Bucket?, authors Tom Rath and Don Clifton explain the theory of the dipper and the bucket:

pail_scoopEach of us has an invisible bucket.  It is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or do to us.  When our bucket is full, we feel great.  When it’s empty, we feel awful.  Each of us also has an invisible dipper.  When we use that dipper to fill other people’s buckets – by saying or doing things to increase their positive emotions – we also fill our own bucket.  But when we use that dipper to dip from others’ buckets – by saying or doing things that decrease their positive emotions – we diminish ourselves. 

So we face a choice every moment of every day: we can fill one another’s buckets, or we can dip from them.  It’s an important choice – one that profoundly influences our relationships, productivity, health and happiness.

Simply by virtue of their position, leaders hold extraordinary power to fill or dip the invisible buckets of their staff.  Continue reading