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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra

Recognition in companies

Updated: May 9, 2022

What does lack of appreciation actually mean? Can you solve the problem of "lack of appreciation" with more gratitude? What is the real source of it? How can you solve the problem underneath?

When an employee says he needs recognition, it indicates that the employee is out of balance. He has given more than he has received. He gives more of his time and health at work than he thinks he gets rewarded for. The employee gives up his breaks and free time in order to contribute to the success of the project or the company., or sometimes to do what he thinks he is expected to do or what his duty is, although in his inner being he doesn't agree.

The employee does not notice this lack of balance and does not try to establish the inner balance himself. He probably does not feel empowered to say stop or no, and feels sucked into the vortex of work. The employee longs for balance and tries to restore the balance by wanting something more from the outside, which could be more pay or recognition or gratitude for his work.

This common situation is reminiscent of the dynamics of the drama triangle (a model for some patterns in social interactions, where the roles of perpetrator, victim and rescuer are played out): the employee saves the company, the day, the project by working more, taking on the "rescuer role" and then at some point in time, switches to the "victim role" and complains about lack of recognition. Answering such a situation, as a company/supervisor, you will position yourself as the rescuer (showing gratitude), the perpetrator (telling that you have done enough in this situation) or the victim (showing that you can't do anything about the situation).

But how do you dissolve such dynamics completely?

By giving back the power to everyone involved and pointing out this imbalance. Everyone is responsible for their own balance. As a company/supervisor, you point this out to the employee, but at the same time you must also create structures and cultures that enable the employee to look at his or her balance. It is especially important to pay attention to the expectations that you have as a supervisor. It is not enough to offer apples for breaks or to point out that lunch breaks are taken, but as a supervisor you must stand behind the employee who does not hand in his work on time or has to postpone an appointment because otherwise he will work overtime. Is there enough trust in the employee to be able to stand behind him when he does not hand in his work on time and does not meet the given deadlines? If there is not enough trust - what is the reason? How can this be changed? Trust is vital in every company and every relationship, whether private or business.Even more, Trust empowers us.

As an employee, you can ask yourselves the following questions: How often do you take your own decisions and implement them? Why? How often do you feel like a victim? Why? What keeps you from - saying no and getting back into balance yourself? Why?

What else can you do as an employee when you realise that you are seeing for attention or gratitude?

You can focus your awareness on the fact that you are no longer in balance and ask yourself what the problem is. The balance can not really be restored with recognition or gratitude, as this will rather create a bigger dependency between you and your supervisor or company you will do more and expect something else in return to compensate for your inner balance (which you have not discussed or agreed on in advance). Try to keep your state balanced as much as possible in the now.

It starts with the little things. When does the body tells you, you need a break? What do you need? Coffee? Fresh air? To go to the toilet? The point is not to postpone this moment even if you are just about finishing something.

Do what your body needs and do it exactly when you need it. You can start doing it once a day and work your way up, until you are doing it all the time throughout the day. You will be surprised how much more productive you actually become. Your head works in overdrive mode when you don't listen to your body and this leads to poorer performance, more time compensation (you have to work longer) but also to less personal well-being.

Look at your balance. When do you actually do more than you should? How do you compensate for this time? Do you do something special nice or enjoyable the day after or take a longer break? Or do you just go on? Observe your inner balance and try to be there with your consciousness as much as possible when you decide to do too much. Make a deal with yourself in these moments. OK I'll work more today but in return, I'll treat myself to the following tomorrow....

A Vouchercloud study found that the average UK office worker is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes per working day. Many factors play into this, one of which is that we work in modes where we are no longer truly productive, simply to get something done "on time". It's a never-ending circle. You as an employee, as well as the supervisor or the company actually only win if you, as an employee can always look at your personal well-being and are empowered to do so.

What can you do as a company or as a manager when employees complain about a lack of gratitude or recognition? Pay out more wages or bonuses? One possible solution. However, today's managers and companies also have a responsibility to look after the physical and mental well-being of their employees. When employees lack appreciation, it means they are simply working a lot, more than is good for them. As a company, you ask yourself, where is this coming from? Can we adjust our processes or expectations. What is fundamentally wrong here? How and what can we change that? Can we hire more staff? Can we soften our expectations? Do we trust our employees? Why or why not?

Is it worth for company to become truly "human" again? To put employee well-being first, before profit?

Around the globe, employee engagement continues to decline, with nearly 85 percent of employees disengaged or not having an active relationship with their work and workplace. In the U.S. alone, this results in lost productivity of $400 billion to $700 billion a year. There are savings to be done in taking care of employees and becoming truly human again in our work interactions, to become a company like a a tribe.

There are many holes in our processes and thought patterns, much room for optimisation.

Who has the courage to try something different?

What has worked well for you as an employee, supervisor or company?

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