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Tips to Get Recognition in the Workplace

By DeVry University

November 30, 2021
6 min read

As an employee, it's your valuable time, mental resources and physical energy that affects your company's success. It's only natural that you hope to be appreciated for your efforts.

Workplace recognition can go a long way toward feeling more satisfied with your job and fulfilled as an employee. It's an excellent way to make employees feel valued and appreciated. If your job is not providing any feedback for your efforts or recognizing when you've done well, it can be challenging to stay motivated at work.

If you feel like you're not being recognized or valued at work, there are ways to increase your visibility and be recognized for your efforts. Use this article as practical guidance on getting more recognition from your boss and your coworkers and experiencing more job satisfaction as a result.

What is Workplace Recognition?

Recognition is a form of non-monetary incentive given to employees for good performance. While there is no foolproof formula for attracting positive attention in any given work environment, some habits and principles can help facilitate the process that don’t involve bending over backward or working overtime. Read on to learn how to overcome near-invisibility challenges and garner positive feedback in ways that suits your style.

Why is Recognition in the Workplace So Important?

Employee recognition improves job morale and satisfaction, aids in productivity and engagement and reduces turnover. According to recent statistics from Reward Gateway, 73% of employees looking to leave their workplace would stay if offered more recognition.

Recognition doesn't have to just come from your boss, it can come from your teammates too. However, recent research finds that recognition should be personal and visible for it to feel significant. Some employees tend to operate more quietly than others, which means that it can be difficult for them to be recognized at all by managers or peers. Earning and receiving timely, appropriate recognition in the workplace can make employees feel valued and appreciated. The lack of acknowledgment or mishandled workplace recognition delivery can have the opposite effect.

4 Types of Workplace Recognition

There are two ways you can be recognized in your workplace: publicly or privately. Public recognition is when the whole company and/or general public knows that an employee has done something good, and that they are being acknowledged or rewarded for it. Private recognition is when just those involved are aware of the recognized employee's efforts. Depending on the situation and who is being recognized, one method may be more appropriate than the other.

There are many different ways that you can be recognized for a job well done. Below is an explanation of four different types of what recognition in the workplace can look like, including examples.

Personal Recognition

Personal recognition can involve being explicitly recognized for some trait or benefit that you bring to your work environment. This kind of thanks often comes privately in the form of a verbal acknowledgment, a small gift or a hand-written card.

Results Recognition

Results-focused recognition is being recognized for achieving or contributing to a desired result or goal. This kind of recognition is often included in an email newsletter shout-out, a company-wide memo or a verbal mention at a meeting.

Performance Recognition

Performance recognition can include exhibiting consistently positive workplace behaviors, such as following up with clients, maintaining shared spaces or showing up where and when you said you would. Many employers and teammates appreciate employees that pull their weight or go above and beyond without being asked. This kind of recognition is often shared in the form of an email, memo, scoreboard or a verbal mention at a meeting.

Dedication Recognition

When supervisors or peers notice that you persist through a difficult task or come up with a creative solution to a workplace challenge, that's typically when recognition for dedication comes into play. This kind of recognition is more often publicly acknowledged and shared in the form of an award or certificate, an acknowledgment at a work get-together, or a bulletin posted for others to see.

How to Pursue Recognition at Work

Now that you understand some of the different kinds of workplace recognition, here are four tips on how to achieve them.

Foster Workplace Relationships

The phrase "out of sight, out of mind" rings true in many work environments, especially remote ones. Diligent, hard-working employees may run the risk of being passed over for praise simply due to a lack of visibility or proximity. This proximity bias may become a factor when recognition is being doled out, as remote employees may be thought of as less productive or dedicated than their in-office counterparts.

How can you avoid this? Fostering active, professional relationships with your supervisors and peers may help them not only better understand you as a person and an employee but may help keep you in mind when the time for recognition comes.

Tip: Make an honest, genuine effort to show up, speak up, and be authentic with your workplace interactions.

Take On More Responsibility

If your workload allows it, requesting additional responsibilities or training can signal to your boss that you are engaged and interested in your role. This can be as simple as volunteering to attend a relevant industry virtual conference and then reporting back with a presentation for your colleagues. Actions like this show initiative and creative problem-solving, which are two attributes than can attract recognition in the workplace. Take responsibility for your idea and be sure to follow through.

Tip: Take time to assess what you can feasibly handle in terms of responsibility and remember to stay on track with your regular duties while improving in this area. A good rule of thumb is to under-promise and over-deliver when it comes to a voluntary request for additional work.

Be Proactive

Being proactive is a simple way to position yourself to get noticed and earn recognition in the workplace. Try assisting your peers, jumping in for mutual tasks unasked or volunteering for unwanted jobs more often. However, keep in mind that proactiveness in the workplace also involves developing consistent habits such as following through on tasks, being early to appointments and planning ahead. Analyze your work habits and see where you can challenge yourself to be more proactive ones.

Tip: To avoid stepping on toes, confirm that your assistance is needed or desired before jumping in. Follow up after project completion to confirm its success or learn how to better assist next time.

Exhibit Responsiveness

Effective workplace communication is important for a healthy and productive work environment. What might this look like in the workplace? When encountering an obstacle during a project, loop in a supervisor early for assistance to avoid delays, or quickly respond to inquiries or requests from coworkers.

Tip: Exhibiting promptness, politeness and proactiveness in your communications with supervisors and teammates shows your respect and regard for others.

Develop Your Skills at DeVry

Workplace recognition often goes to employees going above and beyond in their role. Higher education can help prepare you to pursue excellence in your workplace environment by helping you develop your skills in leadership, collaboration and more.

DeVry's Keller Graduate School of Management offers hybrid or fully online graduate programs taught by knowledgeable faculty with flexible scheduling options, so you can take classes when and how you need to. Grow your skillset, work to improve your workplace performance or continue your education with an MBA or one of our master’s degree or graduate certificate programs.

Classes start every 8 weeks.

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