I’ve posted previously about the critically important employee-boss/supervisor relationship in employee learning and development. This alliance is one of five key factors in achieving business results from any learning intervention (See "5As" webinars listed on this blog.). Responsibility for forming and maintaining this alliance is shared by both the employee and boss/supervisor. If employees wait until their bosses give them the feedback they need, they might wait forever. Sometimes employees must take the lead on this. Steve Roesler makes this point in his blog post: Performance Speaks for Itself, But Not at Work. He writes:

Employees at all levels beg for recognition. Managers get paid to manage (which includes develop and grow) their employees. But for some reason, many of the same managers who value performance don't acknowledge it. The result: Their stars look for another stage where their managerial audience will pay attention to the show… Here's the reality: you have to promote your career and your performance. It's organizationally astute to keep a list of your specific contributions and remind your manager periodically of your aspirations and accomplishments.

Employees are reluctant to initiate these conversations. A common refrain I hear from employees in many different organizations is, “My boss doesn’t appreciate what I do for this company.”  This might be true and it’s unfortunate. However, if employees want to be appreciate, they may have to start these conversations. This is especially true now with many organizations cutting to the bone and managers doing the jobs that two or three managers did before the economic downturn. In this environment, bosses will pay attention to squeaky wheels and postpone giving feedback to high performing employees. This is a mistake – everybody needs recognition and reinforcing success is just as important as improving areas of weakness.