We’ve all been there. Working long and hard to do a great job and yet receiving very little in return. Do some days you wonder whether your manager even knows what you do, let alone appreciate your efforts? If so, you’re far from alone. Research shows that as little as a third of people feel they receive the recognition at work that they deserve.

So, what does it mean to feel recognised? Put simply, most people feel fairly recognised when both their efforts and successes are acknowledged. Acknowledgement can come in many forms including through praise, congratulations or reward. In turn rewards that help people to feel appropriately recognised typically are those that acknowledge what they have earned and is deserved.

Whether financial reward or otherwise what matters most is that people value what they receive. A promotion, pay rise, secondment, training opportunity or simply a ‘pat on the back’ are all ways in which people are typically recognised for the contribution they make to their employer’s business.

A recent survey by Robert Half entitled “It’s time we all work happy: The secrets of the happiest companies and employees” reveals several factors that drive happiness at work. Respondents named pride (51%), fairness and respect (51%) and feeling appreciated (50%) as the ingredients they associate most with happiness.

While employers are wise to understand and act upon what makes their people feel fairly recognised, the simple reality is some don’t. If you are working for a manager or organisation who fails to recognise what you are bringing, don’t just sit back and wait for it to happen. Among the most important things you can do to get the recognition you deserve include these.

1. Stand in your spotlight

There is simply no point in ‘hiding your light under a bushel’. If you have talents to share then offer them up by making them known. Being reserved about believing what you are capable of, and hesitant to step forward when the opportunity presents, will only hold you back from achieving your potential, in any area of life; including at work.

2. Engage

for a moment on how often you have stood back and missed the opportunity to
connect with someone you wanted to. For
example, that manager you’ve been wanting to talk to about moving into their
department that you keep crossing paths with, but feel too awkward to approach. How often have you seen other people hesitate
to connect with the people they want or need to? Being willing to engage with other people is essential to getting on their radar and gaining the recognition you deserve.

3. Earn it

Be the type of person other people want to support to get ahead. Your reputation for being capable and having a good character is essential to earning the recognition you want. Invest the time, energy and talent needed to be seen as a member of a team that can be relied on to deliver.

4. Put your hand up

Never assume just because people know what you want that they will recognise the right opportunities for you when they come along. Don’t hesitate to put your hand up for a role you believe is the right next step for you. Whether it be a substantive position change or role in a project team, ask to be considered for the career or learning opportunities you want.

5. Ask for what you want

Help your manager to understand the ways in which they can help you to feel fairly recognised. Be open about your aspirations and the support you need from them to get there. Be reasonable in your expectations but also courageous in your approach to negotiating the reward you believe is reflective of your contribution.