Team Inferiority Complex: How To Make Sure Team Members Are Being Acknowledged

by | News, Resources

Recognising your team members is essential now more than ever

Your team members need their accomplishments and hard work to be applauded. This is our innate need to be recognised. But why managers and colleagues should strive to satisfy this need?

Imagine you put a lot of effort, spent a reasonable time doing a particular task, and never recognised. Would you invest the same energy and passion next time? Probably not.

As a manager, if you seek outperforming team members, you should make sure they are being acknowledged.

When 200,000 employees from around 500 companies worldwide were asked what motivates them to excel, one of the top 3 answers was ‘feeling encouraged and recognised ‘. However, employee recognition is a problem of organisational management as it is related to team members’ basic needs. They want to be acknowledged.

team acknowledgement

Team Acknowledgement: Cultivating the sense of belonging at work

As human beings, we are an ultrasocial species, relying on cooperation and relationship with others to survive. Team members desire a strong connection with other people to ensure they feel part of something bigger than just themselves – they need belonging.

Harvard Business Review shared that high levels of belonging positively influenced job performance with an increase of 56%. Moreover, a 50% drop in turnover risk followed as well as a 75% decrease in sick days. What can truly surprise you is the representation of the percentages into actual costs:

For a 10,000-person company, this would result in $52M annual savings. On the contrary, exclusion and not proper integration led to team sabotage and negatively hit the overall company’s performance.

Team member acknowledgement is not only about giving feedback on performance

Most of the managers perceive recognition as a:

  • Form of award;
  • Bonus;
  • Promotion;
  • Raise.

A simple “thank you”, or an opportunity for everyone to express their opinion might be more than enough.

Thank you

In terms of effective management, team acknowledgement has long been defined as a crucial cornerstone. Today, as the competition for talent acquisition escalates, and the need for recognition expressed by today’s teams, you should try more than ever to show value and care to every member.

SHRM and Globoforce survey reported that recognition is fundamental to the engagement and retention of top talents. 68% of organisations who have implemented team member recognition programs experienced a positive effect on employee engagement, and a drastic increase in performance.

Traditional team acknowledgement and reward systems – an expensive and time-consuming method

In today’s highly competitive environment, your company does not have any choice but to invest a lot of time, effort, and resources to foster your team’s performance. Team members occupy the intersection between your brand and the outside world. They should become the brands’ biggest supporters and fans, so you should let their voices appear as loud and profound as they can.

This is where the team members’ acknowledgement and reward systems become very useful. These systems serve as platforms on which to build a collaborative and supportive corporate culture aiming at gaining a competitive advantage.

However, implementing such systems into your company is not an easy task:

  • First, you need to invest a lot of financial resources;
  • Such systems cannot exist and operate autonomously;
  • HR managers and a team of specialists should be the ones responsible for managing the systems;
  • The overall corporate culture and values should be aligned to the new systems implemented.

It seems like a long and expensive process, right? According to industry research, organisations in the US spend $90bn a year only on non-cash recognition and reward incentives.

Satisfaction in a box: Innovate your team acknowledgement practices

Your team members do not expect only monetary rewards when they did a good job. They expect to share their opinions and point of view. Hence, providing a team environment where every individual could freely express their point of view is recommended.

How can you acknowledge your team without a professional recognition system? Have you heard of gamification?

Think about the typical elements present in a game. Now, apply those elements to the area that you want to improve. In our case, we are talking about team members’ sense of acknowledgement and belonging.

soap bubbles

With KissTheFrogNOW, you can explore your team’s full potential and replace the expensive and time-consuming recognition & reward systems. The box will become your tool to enhance collaboration and communication among your team members by encouraging them to express their:

  • Opinions;
  • Personal characteristics;
  • The philosophical point of view;
  • Emotional and rational perspectives.

You will find that you have achieved a sense of belonging when the communication between teammates is so strong that everyone interacts with others around him. At the end of the day, your team feels part of something bigger and valuable because it consists of other people sharing and caring.

The ultimate team development goal isn’t their accomplishments. It is the acknowledgement of their value as an integral part of the company.

Your team is a mosaic of diverse perspectives and experiences. Each has a unique voice that can serve as fuel to your competitiveness. Yet so many companies cannot find proper ways to integrate each individual and to create a culture of acknowledgement and belonging.

A frequent question the business leadership asks is “How to reduce the feeling of inferiority among my team and at the same time enhance communication and recognition?”. The answer is no one standing alone.

Recognising your team members while engaging them in team activities and games allows you to understand who they are as people and characters. On the other hand, everyone gets the opportunity to be heard and feel satisfied.

It may sound very easy, but a lot of companies only use board games to break the ice in addition to the objective to foster communication and support among the team members.

Get to know the people from your team

Knowing better the person in front of you gives you higher chances to collaborate with him/her on your next project easily. Why? Next time you will be aware of their basic preferences, and you will know what type of communication they have a positive reaction to. You would also better know what kind of approach to implement to motivate them even more or to supervise them.

When team players ask one other personal questions, the chance to find something in common increases as the game goes. This is a method you can implement to enhance the sense of belonging in the workplace.

Finding a partner in crime means fitting in the team. Team building activities such as TeamGames and PersonalQuestions could serve as a type of platform to achieve this “get to know the others” goal.


Personal feedback is today’s most valuable team data

The manufacturer and the marketer build a minimal viable product to serve as a prototype in front of their customers with the main goal to receive feedback from them on what they do and do not like. That’s when the product engineers, developers, and designers go back to their initial plans to optimise the product.

The same process applies to the manager’s reality. You can introduce specific values, systems, and work processes in the company, none of which can contribute to the success of the performance of your team. Communicate with team members and look for more information about how they are feeling. To preserve your most valuable asset – your teammates, you need to create comfort and adaptability.


Achieving this goal begins with regular discussions. Honest conversations with your colleagues will create trust and a place to “fill in the gaps” in your skillset.

Strive to predispose your team members to be vulnerable and honest through active communication. During the conversations, you may receive essential opinions and views to help you build a trusting environment. Everyone should be able to say:

  • I do not understand.
  • Something went wrong.
  • I need help.
  • Well done!

Openness in your team teaches its members to support each other. The basis is communication, and the result is trust, commitment, and developed team ethics.

The KissTheFrogNow Discussion Deck can be very useful for developing the abilities of team members to:

  • Express themselves;
  • Validate their arguments;
  • Discuss and compare contrasting points of view;
  • Find a midground.

Such an environment encourages mutual respect and nurtures the way of thinking and reasoning of each player.

emotion in teams part 1

Get into your teammates’ shoes

Exploring your team members’ emotions is crucial if you want to build collaborative and empathic work dynamics. Three of the skills comprising emotional intelligence are:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation

Using visual arts such as illustrations, you can explore your emotions. The unique association you have with different illustrations mirror your deepest emotional traits. You can get to know not only your teammates better but also build a stronger relationship with yourself.

KissTheFrogNow Illustrations Deck scaled

For example, suppose someone struggles with a particular task, as a team leader. In that case, you can use a personalised approach to supervise and train this person, based on the emotional insights that you noticed before.

Think about one-on-one meetings and performance evaluation discussions – you cannot communicate information to one person the same way as you express it with another.

People are diverse, everyone reacts differently, depending on how you present information to them. Differences in reactions are deeply related to their emotions, perceptions, and philosophical views.

Show them that you care

The costs of searching, hiring, and training a brand-new company member to develop according to Glassdoor is around $4,000, taking up to 52 days to fill a certain position.

Finding the best talent for the company is just the beginning; you must take responsibility to maintain the same level of motivation and satisfaction in this person. How? By showing them that you care and pay attention. By creating consistency in the employee experience for a fully distributed team.

How? By encouraging feelings of belonging, recognition, and empathy. A survey of Achievers among 1,700 respondents found that 55% of respondents plan to change jobs, and lack of recognition is the number one reason. 69% of them say that if their work is valued better, it will encourage them to stay longer in the company. The most exciting fact is that it is not about money.

Providing competitive pay is a factor that can attract talent to your company. However, the feeling of recognition, care, and belonging is what will keep them for a longer time. Use new, innovative, and fun team-building methods, bond teammates with each other.

How To Structure Winning Team Building Ideas

A Team Acknowledgement Game Changer

Prove to your team that everyone is recognised for their efforts and personality. The old school expensive recognition systems could never include employees as active participants and game-changers. By encouraging communication with various games, enhancing collaboration, and a sense of belonging, KissTheFrogNOW gives team members the strength to stand tall and be recognised for their abilities and unique personality.

by Vasilena Vasileva

A firm believer in team culture, creative team-building games & that inspiration comes within.



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