When you do hard work, you’d like for people to notice it.
Some people believe in the philosophy espoused in one biblical passage (the beginning of Matthew, chapter 6), which suggests that if you do good deeds without loudly drawing attention to them, you’ll eventually be rewarded. It can be frustrating, however, to keep doing that good work, wondering when “eventually” will be.
Others believe that some degree of self-promotion is required to make sure people notice your hard work. But many find it unpleasant to go around highlighting their achievements. And it’s even more unpleasant having to listen to other people shamelessly try to draw attention to the work they’re doing. Appreciation is better appreciated when it’s not actively solicited. So we work on, quietly, taking joy in the doing, not the unheard praise.
But sometimes… sometimes… people notice. And you get that spot bonus. Or that peer award. Or even — or even — your boss finagles you an invitation to the CEO’s annual Circle of Excellence trip, an all-expenses paid getaway to a warm location, reserved for a small handful of top performers, as a thank you for a good year’s work. It happened to me in 2011. It’s happening again now, in 2022. And my wife and I couldn’t be more excited.
As a manager, there’s joy in surprising your employees with that extra bonus or award to say, “Hey, we see you kicking butt. Keep up the good work.”
As an employee, there’s even more joy in receiving that surprise and knowing that yeah, you’re seen, and appreciated.