To be recognized and appreciated is a human need same as air and water. Even the most confident and self-assured among us like to have a compliment, or some kind of acknowledgment, thrown our way from time to time.

Sometimes it can be a small need: recognition for a new dress, a different hairstyle or a snappy tie. Other times it can be a lot bigger: for example, when it has to do with our profession – our work – and the effort we put into it.

Since we spend the better part of our lives on the job, and since what we do hugely affects how we measure our worth, recognition and appreciation for what we do and how we do it ranks much higher than for what we are wearing.

When we have done our work well, earned our pay and gone beyond the call of duty, it’s nice to be told “Well done.” Or “Thanks, we couldn’t have done this without your help.” Or “You made a real difference to this project.”

And it’s even nicer to be told in front of others. There is no need to gush or go over the top: just be sincere. We are at work, not in primary school, and we know it.

The great thing about honest recognition is that it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Indeed, the attachment of money may cheapen it and imply that you see everything in monetary terms.

Simply put, recognition it is not a large and expensive gesture; merely one of the many decencies of which we are all capable.

When you are a manager – a leader – this is communication of the best kind. Make a habit of it. Chances are you will get performance that money can’t buy.

About the Author

Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas -

Richard Thomas is the Principal of Clarity Communication, and has been a corporate communications practitioner for more than 30 years. He is a founding member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Barbados Chapter.