Credits in the office

Like credits at the end of a movie, that continues to run long after the cleaners are picking up the leftover popcorn in an otherwise empty movie theater, not many people pay attention to the credits in the office.[mantra-pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left” width=”33%”] [/mantra-pullquote]

It is often de-motivating for junior staff if they work hard to prepare projects and don’t seem to get any mention when the fruits of their production get presented.

Like the credits in the movie, there really is enough credit to go around and everybody should be recognized for their contributions. NPR does a good job listing everyone who was involved in producing their stories at the end of every broadcast. As the manager of a team you would do well to ensure you set your expectations that all credit gets shared and work get properly contributed to the one’s who created it and contributed to it.

Getting credit is motivating, encourages people to repeat their stellar performance the next time, provides good information to promote people to other positions. So in addition to credit benefiting the employees, it also benefits the organization when there is a culture where everybody shares credit and assigns credit to those who contributed.

So how do you deal with a situation where someone else is claiming all the credit? Here are some thoughts for you as a contributor:

  • Share your activities widely, make sure the folks in the office know what you are working on in an early stage so everyone will know this was produced by your desk once the boss presents the work
  • Continue to update the manager on your progress on the ideas on a regular basis as reminder that this is your work
  • Present your work and ideas during group meetings, avoid the one on one with the boss to share new plans and new outcomes
  • Be a role model and share credit or compliment others on their ideas and work
  • Sit down with the individual not sharing credit and explain your surprise and ask what the reason is. It may actually be a misconception on their part.

What I do not recommend is calling them out in a meeting or going behind someones back to complain to others about your ideas being taken away from you. This strategy won’t help the atmosphere at work, won’t necessarily resolve the problem and does nothing to get the ideas implemented.

There are reasons a boss won’t share credit; they may feel that if something has gone wrong we expect them not to point the finger to the contributor who made the mistake but stand up and take the responsibility for the issue, so likewise they may be under the, misguided, impression that they should not point at who prepared the work but keep the ownership always with themselves.

Other reasons could be that they genuinely don’t see what the point is, never realized they were demotivating the staff or are afraid for their job and desperately need to look good.

Stay professional, use the tips above and if that does not work out, go find another place where your work will be accepted as yours and you’ll be given the appreciation you deserve.

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