Work styles and personal preferences play a strong role in guiding behaviors, actions, and interpersonal relationships within a team. Each person may vary greatly from one another on the continuum of each preference. One of the most common personality preferences discussed in the era of widespread remote work is the introversion-extroversion preference. While this is certainly an important aspect of personality dynamics that has become widely-recognized, there are several others that play a unique role through remote work.
For teams that have a mixture of remote and in-office employees, a common challenge has been providing equal visibility into the needs, activities, and accomplishments for the remote workers. Remote workers who seek career advancement have to be more intentional about sharing their progress or risk being overlooked for special projects and promotions.
With entire teams suddenly transitioning to remote work, an under-appreciated personality preference is the Need to be Noticed. Individuals with a strong need to be noticed place high value on public praise for their efforts, appreciate thank you notes, and want their contributions noted openly. On the opposite side of the continuum, an individual with a low need to be noticed may even be uncomfortable with public displays of gratitude. They commonly shift focus and attention away from themselves and attribute the success to the team.
Understanding which individuals need intentional acts of recognition vs. those who are uncomfortable with them (or prefer private praise) is crucial especially in a remote work setting where so much of the workday lacks visibility.
Making sure your management behaviors align with people’s needs will help you build strong relationships with each individual. However, it’s more important to ensure that the individuals with a low need to be noticed are not overlooked in general. Be sure that talent is recognized and not just those who actively seek out attention.
Additionally, your own Need to be Noticed plays an important role as you manage up. Managers with a low need to be noticed may not actively seek public praise for their team’s accomplishments. This is particularly troubling when the team members themselves have a high need to be noticed. Similarly, if you have a high Need to be Noticed, openly communicate that with your own manager but also be careful not to claim individual praise for your team’s accomplishments.
The Need to be Noticed is a fascinating personality preference because it changes the way we think about recognition. Naturally, it would seem that we should spread praise evenly and equally across all team members, but the way the recognition is delivered is a bit more complicated. By aligning with each individual’s preferences, you’ll build trusting relationships and ensure each person’s unique needs are met.