Feeling Unrecognized at Work? You’re Not Alone, says David Novak


Deep down in the heart and soul of every individual
they want to know that they really count. They want to know that what they do really
matters. I’ve actually learned that 82 percent of employees believe that they’re not recognized
by their supervisor for what they do. And 60 percent of employees say they actually
like recognition as much as money. And we’ve also learned that recognition happens very
rarely, you know. The average person in any company gets recognized, if they’re lucky,
about once every two months. And what I want to do is spend the rest of
my life really building awareness of this fact and really driving home the fact that,
as leaders and as family heads, our job is to let people know that they’re really recognized
for the great gifts that they have and all the contributions they bring to a business
and to the world. The job of the leader is to create that work
environment where people know that you care about them. And once you care about them as
a leader I guarantee it they’re going to care about you. It’s sort of like this,
you know, I’ve never liked anybody that didn’t like me. I bet you haven’t either.
I’ve never really trusted somebody that didn’t trust me. And so if you want to get
people invested in you boy, show them that you care about them and then they’ll care
about you – and they’ll care about the company more. And they’ll come to work every day
wanting to do all they can to make the company a success.David Novak-he best way to recognize
somebody is to listen to them. When you listen to them you show that you really care. If
you listen to them two things happen. Number one, you actually learn something because
these people know a lot about your business and if you can just basically say, “Hey
listen, if you have my job or if you could give me some input what would it be?” And
then you listen to what they have to say and then you respond. Then you’re showing that
you actually care. I think there’s two reasons why people don’t
recognize other people. Number one they think if they do they don’t trust people. They
think, “Oh, they’re not going to work hard enough. If I recognize you and tell you
you’re doing a good job you’ll take the pressure off yourself or you won’t put the
pedal to the metal anymore. So you won’t work as hard,” which is absolutely crazy.
People work harder when they know they’re really being noticed. The other thing is is
if I recognize you, boy somebody else is going to wish they’re going to get recognized.
And you know what? What’s wrong with that? You know find what they’re doing too and
recognize their behaviors that are driving your business. Thank you in my mind – I don’t know if
it’s one word or two words. Like sometimes I get confused about that. But thank you is
the most powerful phrase in our language because it’s says, “I appreciate what you do.
I noticed it.” It’s not that hard to do. You know that’s why we teach our kids to
say thank you. I mean it’s important. But if you don’t say thank you you’re not
noticing what people do. You’re actually taking advantage of what they do in my mind.
And how hard is it? How hard is it to say thank you? It’s not that hard and it’s
very, very powerful when you do it. You know one of the things you may notice
by my hairdo is that, you know, I have – usually I have a full head of hair. But, you know,
I discovered about three or four months ago that I have male breast cancer which is a
very rare, rare thing. And one of the things I’ll tell you about having cancer, you know,
thank God you’re not hit by a bus. You know if you’re hit by a bus it’s over. If you
have cancer you have the opportunity to tell people that you love, you love them. And then
you also have the opportunity to have people tell you that they love you. And that’s
an unbelievable thing that really it’s almost in its own way it’s a blessing. But it’s
really made me stop and reflect. You know gosh what if you were hit by a bus? You know
what if you hadn’t recognized that person? What if you hadn’t told a family member
or a friend or associate how much you appreciate them. You know what a waste. What a waste.
And I think this has really driven home to me even more the importance of recognizing
others and appreciating people and letting people know just how much you value them.
And doing it for people who really are deserving. That’s a joy. That’s a joy of leadership.
And I think it’s a joy of being a good human being.

48 thoughts on “Feeling Unrecognized at Work? You’re Not Alone, says David Novak

  1. You want to be slaves who seek the approval of a corporate puppet?

  2. There are only a few percent of employees that are critical/ important and senior bureaucrats rarely are aware of them until they leave.

  3. I agree, but you do need to show you've listened too, too many companies only pretend to listen and just pay lip service.

  4. I don't care at all about recognition at work. As a matter of fact, by some fluke, recently, I was awarded a prize for some company rewards program that I didn't know existed (because I don't care at all about the company I work for – why would I?). I turned it down and requested that it be given to the next person on the list.
    Why on Earth would it be important to me to be recognized? I don't care about anyone in my workplace. I don't care about the business. I don't care about the company or its future. I sell them my time – end of story.

  5. The problem is big companies are just too big for there to be any significant human interaction between a lot of employees.

  6. Just saying, from this explanation, Michael Scott was the best manager of all time.

  7. Employees get a very tangible thank you everything they get their paycheck every week! No one seem to count that.

  8. Man, there's some real bundles of joy in the comments here. All of you spitting negativity out regarding this video sound depressed. Probably young too, judging by the form of expression you've used. I believe what Novak said here is true. Most of us are not working at our dream job changing the world for the better. Yet we may still be willing to work hard and work well and occasional recognition will boost that.

  9. I used to care about working hard: then i realized that I make the same whether i care and try hard or not. I don't give a damn if the company I work for makes money, I want to make money. This is true for most workers at least at the minimum wage level. We don't give a damn about working hard for you, and once we realize that harder and better work doesn't equal a better pay: we're gonna stop working hard real fast.

  10. David speaks the truth. When I was new in the workforce, there was only one boss who never broke his word when he gave it. I worked at maximum capacity for him, because I knew he wouldn't screw me over.The other backstabbing bosses got 50% from me…and that was on a good day.Money is necessary, but mutual trust is priceless.

  11. They always praise but scare to do on your face !! Hard work always get notice but not always recognize.

  12. Specialised devolved Co-operatives are much more beneficial for the average worker , than these CEO led corporations …and we are getting lectured by one here…..all smile and nice words but no action

    …..the shareholders in co-operatives at least include the workers, not distant billionaires

  13. Unfortunately the situation in most companies at the super structure level and then at the manager level does not find it conducive to recognize value; at the corporate level if you tell someone they are doing a great job are you then opening yourself up for demands of increased compensation and at the manager level many managers recognize that line between them and their subordinates is far more fine then they want 'their' manager to be aware of. There are a myriad of ways to demonstrate recognition of performance but that tends to mean putting the long term benefit of the employer|employee dynamic into play and very few organizations have the maturity to think in those terms. Instead we see hard metrics where employees are expected to continually get better and prove that they have contributed to the organization's bottom line while on the corporate side the position tends to be one of "well it isn't in the budget'" or "you need to wait for a more opportune time". Then these same employers wonder why their employees don't seem have any 'real work ethic' or loyalty to the company.

    Simply put you cannot pursue this effort in a vacuum and for the most part that is what I would propose over 90% of the western employee faces and as such the concept of recognition is going to be difficult to address.

  14. I actually work under Yum Brands where I work. I can tell you that I don't feel recognized where I work.

  15. I don't and that is trough a learnt experience caused by a rare disease to has already made me cheat death 6 times. If I die, someone will take my place and such is life. We do not know the names of our ancestors 10 000-years ago for a reason. That is not to say there is nothing to live for, but don't chase after an illusion of self grandeur, you'll only end up betraying yourself.

  16. Really enjoyed this guy. So interesting and engaging. XX

  17. Recognizing others, appreciating each other, saying thank you…we all learned this in preschool but somehow have forgotten how important it is!

  18. My previous job had no call-off number, so if anything came up, you just didn't go in, and then punch your time-off into the computer the next day.  It was like being told that no one cared if I showed up or did my job or not.  It really makes you feel worthless, and you have no real motivation to do any work.

  19. This is so true… It's kinda common sense, but this speaker puts it together so perfectly, and it's a shame people don't get it… Like when ever someone recognizes my work it makes me want to work so much harder… Be strong David we need people like you!!!

  20. Only insecure people want more recognition. I go to work, do my job, and then I go live my life. My job is not my life. My job is where I earn money by providing a service that a company needs, which in my case is heating and air conditioning. I do not want anyone recognizing me or pointing me out. I'll do my job and they can just pay me. My recognition comes from family and friends. My employer would cut me from the payroll in a heartbeat if they could, so I don't feel any desire to be recognized. You're your own best friend in any work environment, so watch your own back because ultimately, nobody else has it. I have 3 more years to retirement and it can't come soon enough.

  21. The view he has on cancer is very reassuring. Very good point and way to look at that and it is true.

  22. Same concept can be applied at school. By that I mean teacher and student relationships. If the teacher recognizes only a group of students, it isolates the rest. It makes them feel inadequate and it wastes potential that is so valuable to them in their earlier years. It can determine what they don't want to become. I can confirm this.

  23. I'm glad I stayed to the end, it grounded the message in something personal and important.

  24. My manager is like this guy. I get recognized everyday, and so do my co-workers. And David is correct here, I feel like a viable part of the company I'm in and I go to work everyday to let them know that I appreciate all they do for me.

  25. Maybe I'm just reliving my childhood, but I like plenty of people who don't seem to notice I exist, let along like me back. I"m lucky that at work I feel appreciated, but this has only been a recent phenomenon in my life. My current employer constantly tells me I'm awesome and that's a great feeling. We do "employee of the month" in our newsletter and most of thema re totally tickled at the honor. I'm the one who creates the newsletter so I'll never get it, but that's okay.

  26. Or you could be me – who sand bagged my boss just enough that he's no longer with the company.

  27. Recognition within corporate America is like annual pay raise adjusted to inflation, it never happens unless you're on the high echelon of the corporate ladder. Please, tell me I'm wrong. Meaningless video but I'm glad he was paid for it, otherwise it would have been a terrible waste of his time. Keep making millions and enjoy your crystal palace. 🏰

  28. Dale Carnegie. "How to win friends and influence people." Best $15 I've ever spent I my life.

  29. My experience is that management will not recognise good work because they would be giving you ammo at raise time – and their job is to employ you for as little $ as possible. Then when you find another job because you are unrecognised (unappreciated) and give them two weeks notice, they get all puzzled and quiet and blink a lot when you walk out the door. Catch 22?

  30. If you want to spend the rest of your life bringing awareness to this fact, perhaps consider bringing awareness to the fact that we're in need of an entirely different economic model, e.g. a Resource Based Economy, which with our current technology can be achieved to function and reward in exactly the way people actually care about most, not money which is a poor driver except for any function out of need rather than thinking and innovation.

    I must further say, that unfortunately in out society and our culture, given the way things have to work in the majority of cases, it's impossible for what you're saying to be true unless in a way that's disingenuous. That's perfectly accepted in our culture but I'm not sure replacing the value of genuineness with fake compliments and phony gratitude is a worthy tadeoff. The only reason most people wouldn't actually do what you're talking about is because they don't actually feel that way, and personally I find nothing worse than a fake smile. The implications are usually incredibly vast.

  31. Fantastic stuff. Common sense strategies to keep your hard working employees happy and loyal to your organization.

  32. Right now I'm 17 and working at Walgreens, your typical high school job. After busting my ass off for past year I've come to realize I don't get recognition or respect. I work the hardest, I'm never late, have not called out once while everyone else has at least 2 times, it's insane. I run multiple departments after I realized that I'm not getting recognition or respect I told my manager and said hey I wanna be recognized for what I do. Now they make fun of me saying Your doing a good job today as a joke her and another manager use it as a joke. it makes me very upset and frustrated knowing I dont get the recognition and respect I deserve. My 1 year at the company was first of December, right now it's the 19th and they still haven't given me my paper and little pin its just sitting in the office. it's really frustrating

  33. I’m continually feeling unappreciated at work. I’ve gotten to the point where I feel I unengaged and not a part of the conversation. It seems most of the time that my supervisors, managers and all the contractors are always looking to my coworkers for answers instead of me. Even when it’s clear that I’m the one who has more knowledge on a subject, the contractors will look to my coworkers before me. I don’t know if it’s a situation where they’re more comfortable talking to my coworkers or if it’s that I’m viewed as incompetent because I’m female while I work with mostly males but it makes me feel unworthy and unmotivated to try to be better. It’s very demoralizing and I feel trapped in this rut.

  34. I completely agree with this. I believe too that it is our differences between ourselves that cause disagreements and fights amongst ourselves. I mean, come on people, we always say we want a better world but what a lot of us tend to not do is take that first baby step towards that goal with action. We, as a planet, are 7 billion people strong. Imagine if we were a force for good that strong, running a united empire that big.

  35. Thank you just sounds cheap and fake instead feeling appreciated. That's like fuel in fire

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