I’ve heard employees stating I need appreciation to be motivated. Definitely everyone needs but how often and in what form?
When we were in kindergarten we got one to five stars on our books at least thrice a week. When we came to primary and started identifying words, stars were replaced with Good, Very Good and Excellent by the Teachers every fortnight or monthly on the submission of class books or monthly test papers.
When we went to High School, only competitions, certificates or exam results, showed the results which were appreciated by our parents or classmates, but not to the level of how they were acknowledged earlier. Teachers did appreciate but very rare, or not on the face to keep us grounded, consistent and persistent.
When we went to College, there weren’t Stars, Good, Excellent or Test Results or Certificates in a big way. Most of all the activities were half yearly or early and our parents started making deals with us, rather should I say we started doing deals with them. Will I get a watch if I do well in the exams or shoes or laptop or mobile or vacation? Oh, we had so many deals done. The appreciation got purely materialistic.
When we got married, the appreciation completely disappeared. It was our duty to earn for the family, and keep them happy. And appreciation for such an activity would have been the most foolish expectation, because it was nature’s rule to be followed and bare minimum expectation from any common man.
Further we had Children, all our appreciation in whatever we did was to be seen in how good our Children are, and how Successful they are. So, who appreciated us for making our Children successful? We ourselves had to. Additionally, when they were successful, weren’t we happy? Though our identity itself shifted to being X’s Dad or Mom. Did we expect appreciation? Never. Where was this need for appreciation lost? Not known.
Now coming to the other phase of life which runs Parallel-Corporate life. When we are juniors, we are appreciated and given goodies monthly, assuming we are infants at the trade. We move towards a Lead position; our team gets goodies and we are envied by other Managers. I believe this is in turn appreciation.
But the Management recognizes the team on frequent basis. So, our individual identity is replaced by our team. Just like our Children are appreciated. The appreciations, in form of words or certification moved to perks on Quarterly, Monthly or Half Year Basis.
Further, we grow up to be in a Managerial role, Clients appreciate, but our Company our Seniors still don’t appreciate often. Because that’s the bare minimum level of expectation from a Manager for the salary paid. Only negatives are highlighted as they need addressals.
And thereon, we are in Senior Management role. The word appreciation is completely lost. We are responsible for the Company’s performance. We get promotion and appraisal yearly. We work for the Company’s goal and get our perks in return. We are required to only think of Company’s performance. Our success is directly proportionate and measurable only in terms of Company’s success.
Thus, our identity as a performer is straight away shifted to the visible Company’s performance. We hear rarely anywhere as the CEO or CFO of this Company is doing well. Rather, we get to hear that XYZ Company is doing well. Does it mean that all the people under him have performed well without he doing well? We know that our Company and our identities have synced, just like us and our children.
But, what varies is we feel proud when our children are appreciated, and when in professional career our Company being appreciated doesn’t make us sync this on our mind. Does it mean that we carry a guilt that we haven’t contributed enough in our Company’s success? Why do we want to behave children in our career, and want appreciation every now and then when in a senior role?
– Sucheta Gour