Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about coworker failing to give credit:
I have been working for the last 2 years in a small company and it has only been recently than I started realizing what is happening. I am very good at a new technology in use, and there is a coworker who is more experienced than me, and whom I have helped out a number of times with problems.I have started noticing that she takes my help and immediately after that goes to the manager and presents the solution as if she has come up with it. When she helps me, I always make sure that I mention her name and that she helped me solve it. But she never does. If I point out some bug that she made, she gets really mad and brushes it aside. As a result, the manager thinks she is more qualified and keeps praising her every single time, and me and another 2 co workers never get any acknowledgement, leave alone praise.I am so angry that I have started limiting my conversations with her. She is capable and qualified, but my thought process is, if she is getting the praise, let her work for it, I am not going to help her. Is my attitude right, or should I tackle this some other way? Thanks. “When there is a hill to climb, waiting will not make it smaller”
Signed, Not Credited
Dear Not Credited:
Yes, the situations you describe would be frustrating for most of us. What’s happening is that your co-worker is looking out for herself. She seems less fair and is less of a team player than you are. Your approach of giving credit when others have contributed is the right one because is focuses on team building, collaboration, and positive recognition.
As for what to do, your current approach is one possibility–to limit your suggestions and advice to her, although hopefully, others won’t suffer because of that. There are other possible approaches as well. For example, have you thought about talking to her and communicating your frustrations directly? Offer to take her to lunch and let her know that you value teamwork, communication, collaboration, and recognition. Let her know how you were willing to give her and others credit and that you feel like she is not reciprocating enough. See how she responds and if that makes a difference the next time you help her. Did you ever consider bringing your observations and concerns about fairness to your manager? Although doing so after things have occurred can sound like you are looking for strokes, if might be helpful to mention some specific situations where your ideas helped everyone (focus on your contributions). Does your company have any written guidelines on this kind of situation? Maybe suggest that everyone could benefit from having a policy or presentation that focuses on teamwork and positive recognition. Another approach is to make sure that co-workers know that you have helped solve problems. Several might already know that you have contributed in various ways. Depending on whether your company has reviews several times per year, having others know that you are a team player can be good for you.
Even if these things don’t work in your favor, you know that you are doing the right thing and that you are a team player. That can give you some confidence and satisfaction. Your might see situations like this from time to time and at least you can feel good that you have done the right thing, even when others do not! Good luck in solving this problem!WEGO is doing your best and communicating your needs.
Guest Respondent, Steven H. Carney