If you're a people manager, you'll know how important it is to recognise staff contributions.

If you have staff working for your business, you’ll know how important it is to recognise their contributions.

One of the most forgotten and unrecognised contributions that your staff can make is their contribution to process documentation, guides, reference material, etc. It’s not always about the outputs, but the things people do to build and optimise the business, and intellectual property.

Most workers pride themselves on the value they bring to your organisation. It’s often rare for people to sacrifice their knowledge to simply share it for free – they will guard the knowledge until the time comes that they will get something in return for sharing it.

More often than not, you won’t need to spend any money at all to recognise someone. You don’t need to buy them vouchers or print recognition awards.

You will quickly find that most people are motivated by recognition and attribution. Wherever possible, recognise people who share and contribute to your business. It’s easy to mention their names in team meetings or weekly newsletter bulletins.

What problem does it solve?

Recognising people who contribute to your business knowledge and intellectual property means you don’t need to invest time and money to create, synthesise, validate and package content yourself.

Recognising people for their contributions also creates a collaborative culture and knowledge sharing which in-turn boosts staff morale and engagement.

Usually it costs nothing to recognise someone for their contributions. As a manager, this is something you would already be doing. However, it’s easy to forget non-tangible contributions such as sharing learnings or ideas.

You don’t necessarily need to spend anything on vouchers and cash rewards. You could recognise someone publicly in team huddles, via group email or even to simply thank them individually during a one-on-one conversation.

All businesses can benefit from recognising or rewarding knowledge contributions, including sole traders who work with contractors or partners.


One Friday afternoon at a water utility company, after all the staff had left for the weekend, Brianna discovered a difficult situation – a customer had moved into a new property late that day, only to find the water was disconnected.

Brianna spent several minutes calling colleagues who worked in the suburbs near the customer’s home, to find someone to arrange an urgent reconnection. During this time, she had called eight different staff and discovered only one of the staff was available after hours. After resolving the customer’s issue, she documented a list of after-hours contacts and shared it via email with her colleagues, so the next time a similar issue arose, other staff knew who to call to arrange an urgent reconnection.

Brianna didn’t need to do this, she could have rushed immediately at the end of her shift to leave for the weekend – by taking the time to share knowledge that she recently acquired, she has helped other staff save time and effort in the future. Following this, her manager replies to the group email thanking her: “Thanks Brianna for taking the time to send these after-hour contacts to the team, late on Friday afternoon. This will help us to quickly resolve issues in the future. Let’s get this saved on the Intranet and make sure this is updated regularly.”

By doing this, Brianna’s manager can foster a knowledge culture where contributions are respected and efforts are acknowledged publicly.

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