Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Let Your Employees Know They Are Valued

If you want to attract the best and brightest to your firm – and get them to go the extra mile – let them know they’re valued.

This will produce better results than a pay hike, corner office or extra vacation.

We all want to feel valued. We want to believe our work has meaning, and that we are part of a greater whole.

These aren’t just affirmations from a self-help book. They are basic truths about the human condition. And there’s science to back it up.

A survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that “feeling valued is a key indicator of job performance.” Employees who feel valued are more likely to be engaged in their work. They are also more likely to buy into the firm’s mission and stick around even when things go bad.

Employees who don’t feel valued are less inclined to do more than the bare minimum. They will feel a weaker bond of loyalty to their employer. And they will keep an eye out for better opportunities.

It’s All About Wellness

Your firm might feature an on-site gym, raw juice bar and meditation room, but if the people who work there don’t feel valued, their performance will be lacking.

True wellness stems from a firm culture that recognizes the value of everyone’s contribution. This can’t be faked. And it starts at the top.

“Organizational culture is the personality of an organization,” says Christy Matta at Psych Central. “A healthy organization promotes personal and professional growth, fairness, open communication and shared values. To improve retention and employees’ feeling valued, companies can assess the organization’s current degree of wellness, determine important company values and norms and lead by example.”

What Can Employees Do?

If you’re feeling undervalued, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Here are three ways to get your tank refilled:

  • Talk to your supervisor. “Speaking to your supervisor about your feelings and discussing small changes that would make you feel more valued can help,” says Christy Matta. “Before you have this conversation, it’s important to consider your relationship with your supervisor, to reflect on what types of changes your supervisor is capable of making and to consider your history and performance and whether you have given as much as you are asking for.”
  • Bond with colleagues. Develop relationships at work and within the community. Friendships provide inspiration and motivation.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Maybe you’re asking too much from your job. Look elsewhere for self-validation. Volunteer to coach a youth sports team. Join a civic club. Explore nearby greenways and hiking trails.

A Mother’s Advice on Feeling Valued

Following are excerpts from a letter posted on LinkedIn from a mother to a daughter who had been cut from her volleyball team.

Dear Daughter,

Unfortunately, in life there are times you will not be valued. Do not stay where you are not valued. Do not waste time in self-pity because someone did not value you. Your value, your worth, comes from your heart, not from someone else.

Today you were rejected by someone. Your heart felt broken, it was not. You even trusted the person who did not value you. They led you to believe they valued hard work, passion, off-season dedication, and attitude. They led you to believe these qualities were important to them when in fact to them they are not. Your heart hurts because you believed the words of someone who let you down. You are better leaving when you are not valued.

It is ok to grieve today and tomorrow to focus on what’s next. Take all your hard work, all your contributions, all your passion, all your heart, and put it to the next thing. Do not feel like everything you did for all those years was a waste. It was not. You are the amazing person you are because of your journey. 

You will be able to recognize the next time you are not valued easier and when that happens (because it will), you will have the strength, experience, and self-worth to leave it. You might be in a friendship, a relationship, or a job where you are not valued. You will have the strength, experience, and self-worth to leave it. 

You will not be valued by some people. People are imperfect. Leave those who do not value you. 

I can’t wait to see you shine again in your next journey!





About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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