How to make sure that your manager appreciates you

IN THE film The Social Network, the original co-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin, freezes the company’s bank account after feeling unappreciated by Mark Zuckerberg. An audible sigh of sympathy spreads across the cinema, as Eduardo rants and raves in his attempt to get his contribution recognized. You don’t have to be behind a social phenomenon to suffer from this problem. But what is the solution? How do you get your performance recognised?

First, agree with your manager what success would look like ahead of time. Written goals increase our performance and make it easier to recognise great performance when it happens. They also make it a lot harder to re-write history.

Talk about your achievements in terms of the lessons you have learnt. No-one likes a show-off but showing how you’ve grown will present you in a humble light and ensure your achievements are noted.

Share the glory by explaining specific things that colleagues and bosses did to help with your achievement. The more that other people feel that they gain from your success the more they will want to encourage it and talk about it.

Use data to make favourable comparisons. Perhaps this year’s conversion rate compared with last year’s or how your team has done compared to the French or the monetary value of the increase in customer service in your area. Numbers are the language of business.

Seek out opportunities to present your project. Maybe there’s an award you can enter your team for (or encourage your manager to do this). Failing that, seek out forums to share best practice and ask for a slot on the agenda.

Of course, the best way to get appreciated is to do good work, and keep doing it. In the end it will become obvious. And if it doesn’t, either you’re in the wrong place, or your work isn’t as good as you think.

Octavius Black, CEO, The Mind Gym,