Giving credit to colleagues makes you look successful

We all want our work to be recognized. It’s how we measure our success.

But how do you get your colleagues to acknowledge your hard work and toil? Here’s one good tip: by modeling good credit behavior.

In other words: If you want people to toot your horn, you need to toot theirs. That way you create a workplace culture where hard work is always acknowledged.

Sachin H. Jain, the CEO of the CareMore Health System, said that he learned this from one of his bosses. “I took a few moments to send e-mails to thank individuals who had helped make a project of mine successful and copied my boss. My boss, in turn, scheduled time with me to thank me for taking the time to recognize others,” he wrote in Harvard Business Review.

By recognizing the work of others, Jain got his work recognized too. Bosses like Jain’s know that being a team player is a valued trait that should get praise. Good credit behavior also means doing this in private settings where your boss doesn’t see you. Besides spreading good karma, it shows your colleagues that they work in a place where their ideas matter. That increases team trust and will increase employee morale and retention in the long-run.

No one likes working in a job where compliments seem to be conditional on your status, not your accomplishments. Take time to acknowledge your quiet employee’s work. It will make a difference.

The New York Times offers similar advice to people who want to share credit: “Create a paper trail. Send out e-mail messages with pertinent sales figures. Circulate memos that recap your team’s stellar performance. Forward select customer accolades to your boss.”

Bottom line: people won’t know you and your team did hard work unless you tell them. By forwarding your appreciation of others, you help create a positive feedback loop where your good deeds get acknowledged and theirs do too.