Why is it that sometimes at work, you go that extra mile, while at other times, you may take off early or do only the bare minimum? Sure, stress plays a role, as do family obligations and your physical health.
But when you consider primarily just work factors, which ones have an impact on your job performance? Certainly pay rate, benefits and time off are linked to job performance.
However, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), feeling valued is a key indicator of job performance. Employees who feel valued are more likely to be engaged in their work and feel satisfied and motivated.
What can you — and companies — do to help improve your feeling valued at your job?
This same APA survey found that three-quarters of Americans list work as a significant source of stress, with over half of those surveyed indicating that their work productivity suffered due to stress. Nearly half of those who say they do not feel valued report they intend to look for a new job in the next year.
Work stress and unhealthy work environments intensify workers’ sense of being undervalued and can contribute to absenteeism and lack of productivity when employees are at work.
What Can Companies Do?
It is essential for employers to recognize the connection between employee well-being and organizational performance. The results of this survey indicate that organizational culture has an impact on employee performance.
Organizational culture is the ‘personality’ of an organization. It includes company norms, values and behaviors towards the members of the organization. According to a report put out by the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, 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 and through communications with employees.
What Can You Do?
What you can do when you’re feeling undervalued depends on your position in the organization and your relationship to your co-workers and supervisors. If you are a manager and in a position to make changes to the organizational culture, for example, your course of action will be different than if you have little control over the culture.
Talk to your supervisor. Your supervisor can make some changes to your work environment. Speaking to your supervisor about your feelings and discussing small changes that would make you feel more valued can help. 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.
Get support from co-workers. Positive relationships with co-workers can help you maintain motivation and can provide reinforcement for quality work.
Assess your long-term vs. short-term needs. All companies fluctuate in their responsiveness to employees. It is important to determine whether sticking it out in the short term is in your best interest for the long term or whether you would regret taking not action now.
If you find yourself checking out mentally at work, making mistakes that you wouldn’t have in the past or simply not caring about your performance, consider whether you are feeling appreciated. Knowing what contributes to your dissatisfaction can help you make decisions about how to handle it.