How to Give Credit in the Workplace

Sep 4, 2014 | Professionalism


Have you ever completed a project, only to have a co-worker present it to your boss without giving you credit? Unfortunately, this happens often in American workplaces. It can be very frustrating, especially if you were particularly proud of your work on that project. This kind of behavior is toxic to otherwise friendly environments.

Credit motivates employees. When they don’t get enough of it, they become disengaged. This might even encourage taking credit that doesn’t belong to them.

Fortunately, it’s possible to cure your workplace of this epidemic. All you have to do is start creating a culture of giving credit where credit is due. And in the words of Michael Jackson, the solution starts with the man in the mirror.

Here are three tips for giving credit the right way:

Give more than the ubiquitous “great job.”

These little phrases are nice to hear, but begin to lose their meaning when applied to work that’s really just ordinary. When work on a project is worth a “great job,” a couple words probably don’t cut it. Try giving a personally written note congratulating the employee on his accomplishment.

Give credit that’s proportionate to the accomplishment.

If an employee went above and beyond in his weekly report, a verbal thank-you should suffice. But if he had a big idea for a new product or promotion, or prevented a major crisis from happening, try giving something tangible like a gift card or bonus.

Give recognition consistently.

If you’re going to give credit for one accomplishment, be sure to do the same for all comparable achievements. This avoids the appearance of favoritism, and sets a standard for the quality of work that deserves extra acknowledgment. While this type of consistency is important, it’s also advisable to vary the way you express your gratitude.

How do you acknowledge your staff’s accomplishments? Let us know in the comments!

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