Saturday, July 31, 2010

Don't wait for rewards, pat your own back

This article was shared by one of my colleagues.. very encouraging thought... in times when one feels...not so good with the surrounding work environment...

Don't wait for rewards, pat your own back
28 Jul 2010, 0134 hrs IST, Priya Kumar,
I have seen a lot of unsatisfied achievers in the corporate world. They want the recognition, they want the award, they want the incentive and they
want all there is to want because they work hard for it. And sometimes despite all the hard work, their performance gets sidelined. A lot of people are discouraged and disheartened when they don’t get their due. One cannot imagine the heartbreak of the employee who put his soul in his project and it still fell short of the credit he so deserved. 

Instead of quitting on your passion or living short of your own potential, set yourself up for success. Success is not an announcement from a third party; it is a feeling from within. But so many times we are focussing on the outside for acknowledgment that we miss acknowledging ourselves for our work, an acknowledgment that really counts. Next time when you take up a project and set your eyes on the winning line, set yourself up for your own personal ‘award’ and ‘recognition’.

Plan your personal recognition: When I dig myself in my laptop to write an article, or a strategy plan for my book launch or a workshop outline, or anything that I need to get done, I plan to reward myself when I finish. It could be something as small as ‘take a coffee break’ or ‘buy myself the book I wanted to read’ or ‘munch on a bar of chocolate’. It can be anything that marks that I ‘earned’ it. I had a colleague who was very fascinated with the idea of personal recognition and he decided to reward himself with a beer while watching TV at home if he cleared his inbox before he left from work that day.

See he was going to drink the bottle of beer while watching TV anyways, so how does it hurt to make it a reward? One had rather drink to success than drink to frustration at the end of the day. Weeks later he told me, “I remember feeling low for almost six months when I was not granted the promotion I deserved. But with my own creative recognition plan I feel important and productive every single day. And because I feel successful and rewarded everyday, I have become a bigger success at work than even what my seniors had imagined.”
Plan your family or social recognition: It certainly is important that colleagues at work appreciate your hard work but what people forget
is that it is more important that the recognition comes from the people you are working so hard for.

They have a stake in your success. It would be great to take your spouse for a weekend vacation to mark the celebration of your quarterly hard work. I tried this idea out with a few friends. One of them told his son that after Daddy does his work well at the end of the month, he would take him shopping. He was amazed that his son kept tab on his progress and actually asked him how his day was every day. Another friend decided to take a casual leave to watch movies at home with his family and called friends over for dinner to celebrate the end of a month-long tenure of work well done in office. “I am happier at work than I have ever been in my 22 years of working. Acknowledging my hard work and celebrating it has contributed to my job satisfaction,” he said at the end of the month.

Work is work. Clearing emails is as much work as is delivering the newspaper as is performing an open-heart surgery. Work becomes contribution when it is done to finish and done well. And work well done must be rewarded. If you are the one keeping tab on your progress and rewards, other people’s opinion of your worthiness won’t matter and you will be successful in ways that matter and count. Make your work a celebration of your hard work for you to feel like the success that you truly are.

(The author is a corporate trainer and best-selling author of I Am Another You)

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