For many years I have put in long hours, including many weekends. I have put my energy and soul into my job and the organization. I have brought profits to the team; but I have never been recognized for it.”
AJ said and was almost ready to quit working for those who didn’t care what he had done for them; but of course is ready to change with some advice.

You could give a quick advice saying “hey, it is the self-marketing era; go toot your own horn.” But it does not work for everyone, some people are not good at it and some too shy or uncomfortable to do so.

Before you barge out of the job or barge in your supervisors’ office, it is a good idea to first evaluate and assess the situation (alright, you have been doing it all along; how about doing it in a different way now?)

First Self Assessment
Is it you?
What type of a person are you, timid, introvert or outgoing and a self-marketer. Chances are you are well described or close to the first two descriptions in the sentence above. (Note: there could be other reasons so if you think it is not you then skip to the next point). During this self assessment, take time to answer the following questions:

If the answers are “yes” to all or most of them, then move on to the next point else TRY to get convert your “nays” to yes on all of the above (How? Follow the links to read the relevant articles)

It is them

“As companies tighten their belts during tough times, it’s important to remember that money isn’t always what matters most to employees. When it comes to encouraging employees to pour discretionary effort into their work, the chance to make a difference and be recognized for their contributions can provide a much stronger incentive. Unfortunately, only 49% of non-management employees report that their contributions are recognized by their company when they perform well.” – Hay Group Insight, September 2008

There are some tough managers and especially if you somehow have fallen in the bad books of yours, it is quite imperative that you are not in the list of “deserving/to-be-recognized” employees.
Also note this very interesting observation from Bob Nelson (on Workplace911):
911: Who is the worst at recognizing employees?
BN: The research tells us the older someone is, the more likely they are not to believe recognizing employees is important. They grew up in a different era and thus often hold different values about work, such as the belief that “people should be glad they have a job” or “we thank people every two weeks: it’s called a paycheck.” Yet 77 percent of today’s employees say that recognition is very or extremely important to them.

Step 2: Ask your Colleagues
It may be the company culture that recognitions are present but not so evident. Ask your co-workers if they are generally awarded pay raises or bonuses or other incentives post-performance reviews or in other ways in their divisions. You can get a better idea on different managerial practices and thereafter plan appropriate action items. Your action items could be meeting your own expectations towards gaining recognition or initiating meetings with your boss to inform why your expectations for recognition are not being met.

In the end it is your responsibility on how you want to be treated by others, there are many self-help articles on this blog and others as well where you can find ways to steer closer to recognition at work.

How recognized do you feel at work and what do you think helps in getting recognition?