“Every year, $90 billion is spent on employee recognition non-cash recognition rewards. With 69% of employees reporting that they would work harder if they were appropriately recognized”
(Human Resources Today, HRT)


One of the greatest trends in iAM is the need for recognition.  To feel valued for the work that we do.  It causes a mass of challenges for everyone who uses it as a strategy (It is not an iAM Value).  But the vast majority of us are totally unaware of it.  In our experience this gold star culture forms one of the primary ingredients for a lack of trust in the workplace.  It reduces our resilience and holds back the fantastic environment that work can be.

HRT shares that “today’s workforce is looking beyond paychecks and bonuses.  A recent Reflektive study found that not feeling valued was one of the top reasons employees would consider leaving a company. This is especially alarming because only one in three workers report that they receive recognition on a consistent basis”.

I could spend days writing about this.  I could write a book.  A series of books!  Here is the challenge;

Requiring recognition from others or your workplace drains your power to be your best self at work.

I’ll say it another way;

Waiting for a culture or others to tell you how great you are undermines your confidence and can cloud your ability to do a brilliant job.

The neediness of wanting to be valued and recognised puts the power of your resilience and confidence outside of your control. Every one of the most successful leaders and managers that I know doesn’t do this.  They  don’t need the gold star.  Why?  They self appreciate.  Their focus is totally spent on making a difference, strategising, getting things done, relationships, coaching and bringing out the best in others.  They are conscious of all of this.  And so they recognise it.  They appreciate that they are creating.  They appreciate the people around them.  No trophy cabinets required.

As a mother I have really focused on teaching Nicole not to need medals.  She used to hand the stars back.

The human wish to belong can really get in the way of our strength as people if it is channeled through others rather than ourselves.  How much do you use recognition as your confidence strategy?  Reflect on these questions;

  • Do you look for interest from others in what you are saying as you are saying it?
  • Do you check in with peers or your line manager to hold up what you are doing and in showing them feel good if they like it and frustrated if they don’t?
  • Do you have times when you don’t feel valued at work?
  • Does positive feedback from others bounce your energy or do you stay stable and just get on with it?

With iAM we will stress test the recognition and being valued requirement with the love of appreciation.  When we appreciate, we notice.  People with an iAM appreciation value see the best in other people and their environment.  They have a inner world where they warmly feel the impact of others and a gratitude.  This appreciation when turned to the self is hugely powerful.  It’s not about arrogance but about liking yourself.  It is about using who you are to make a difference, make others happy and fulfilled and in Maslow’s words self actualising.

I see photos all of the time of Chilly bottles, boxes of biscuits and treats and recognition packs pictured on desks.  We all love gifts.  What if not needing them shaped not only an amazing career for you, but also created a trusting, fulfilling, even more successful place to work?