“Thank you.” These are the two most powerful words an employer can use to motivate his people. But they are often just used mechanically, not as if they meant to show real appreciation. But look at the power of those words. They can encourage, they can motivate, they can earn loyalty and retain talent.
“I am just not appreciated” or words to that effect are common in most workplaces. Almost everywhere you look there are people who say :“My company takes me for granted.” “They don’t really care how hard I work. It hurts.” “I do the work but other people get the credit.”
So, what can you do to make sure your work is appreciated? If you are really serious about this, there are several avenues open to you. Doing outstanding work is a sure-fire way to get attention. This means working harder, of course. But imagine the thrill when your boss looks at the memo you turned in with all those suggestions for saving money (which you have personally checked out) that are excellent and workable, and says “Thank you” with a big smile and using your name. When he later credits you with those ideas, that’s true appreciation – that will send you smiling all the way to your desk to come up more ideas to impress him.
If you don’t as yet have that revolutionary, path-breaking idea, you can start by just keeping a diary of all the work you’ve done, all the ideas you’ve come up with, all the action you’ve taken in your own way to turn a situation around. Remember, your boss sees the macro picture. If the department you’re in is running smoothly and efficiently, he will remember to give your department head the credit. It’s not that he’s snatching the credit away from you. He may not even know you exist (yes, that can happen). So, one day, take courage and go and meet him with your list. The lunch hour is a good idea. Just knock and ask if you could speak to him for a few minutes.
The chances are that he will be impressed not just with the work you’ve done but also with your initiative. You are not waiting for him to find out – accidentally – what a valuable employee you are. You are actually showing him a meticulously-kept record of your work.
Finally, let’s not forget that bosses were in exactly the same situation before they rose to the top position. They know what’s going on. They work late hours too (that’s how they got to where they are) so will notice and appreciate someone who’s sincerely working hard to put more than a hundred per cent into the job. So, just keep doing what you’re doing. It won’t be long before the boss stops by your desk and says “Thank you” as if he really meant it. And our guess is that this genuine appreciation will show on your pay cheque, too.