The logic of management science is implacable: a boss who recognizes the work of his employee contributes to his commitment, performance and loyalty. How to explain that a seemingly simple and easy to implement principle leaves so many employees on their appetite?

The purpose today is to reflect on the subject which will, hopefully, lead to changes in daily behavior. In my view, the rise of individualism in our societies over the past two generations has raised expectations that are difficult to meet. The legitimate motivation for individual success slips into an unhealthy need for performance.

A person who wants to be at the top in all aspects of their life will naturally activate to validate their contribution, their performance in the organization and their potential. This great thirst for recognition is the antithesis of the not too distant principle which stipulates that “everything is fine if we don’t tell you anything”.

This same person, in his role as boss, will have incredible difficulty in moving from I to WE, that is to put himself in the shoes of others, to understand the expectations of his employees and their own need for recognition. In the logic of every man for himself, we choose to focus on our needs and ignore our responsibilities. The chain of recognition from one level of management to another runs the risk of slipping as soon as the structure encounters an individualist leader.

Another element, the dominant competence of the boss, can undermine the culture of recognition. Indeed, an expert type leader is content to recognize competence and a director or competitor type leader is content to recognize good results, according to his often very demanding personal scale. One day when I invited one of my employees to congratulate his representative on a very nice sale, I got this answer: I can’t because my ambition is much greater than to make this type of sale.

Let’s now look at the best possible solutions, both in our role as employees and as bosses. The most obvious solution for a boss is to provide a safeguard, such as giving the power to a loved one to tell you, clearly and without punishing the messenger, that an opportunity has just been missed. of recognition.

In addition, a boss, in lack of recognition from his own boss, has the power to give recognition to his employees before gently explaining to his boss his method, its consequences and making his request.

As an employee, it would be useful to put recognition in the box of gifts rather than in that of needs, in order to better manage expectations. To compensate for the lack of recognition, it would also be useful to find a way to keep his light on regardless of the behavior of his boss.

A person’s self-motivation is directly correlated to their sense of responsibility (keeping commitments), their willingness to achieve (do more) as well as being focused (keep the goal in sight). These are talents to be developed. At the end of the day, it is worth remembering the following maxim: instead of demanding that others change, work on yourself first.