Some days ago, talking about work climate and engagement with a colleague, he told me that a frequent complain among employees at several companies he knows is about not being properly recognized for their work, while their boss takes the credit.
An Italian proverb came to mind: il sangue del soldato fa grande il capitano1 (It’s the blood of the soldier what makes a captain great.)
Recognition being important, it’s not a high-grade motivator. But I can’t avoid sensing some injustice when someone presents the results of a team as his own, without giving proper recognition. I think that what irks an employee is not so much the part about not being recognized for what she has done, but the one about the boss taking the credit for her work.
Giving proper recognition can be a blind spot of some managers. It can be one of our blind spots. You can take the credit for other’s work without fully realizing it. So, some practical advice: when talking about something your business has achieved, start by giving credit to your team, by name.