Why it matters that workers feel they matter: Valued employees do a better job for employers and customers

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Meet Jim Churchman. Jim was a teacher and later a school principal. He played golf a lot after retirement, but, his own words: “Tired of it very quickly. I didn’t feel like I had much self-worth.”

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Like many retirees, Jim was still looking for ways to be relevant and feel valued, so he looked for a part-time job, which he found at a big-box retail store. There, he acted as a greeter. But more important than the job itself found a community. When his wife was diagnosed with cancer, everyone was very supportive of the work. Jim says: “We’re one big family.” Jim is part of a team, which makes him feel valued, and to which he adds value.

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Nayan Busa is a software engineer. He works at Next Jump, an e-commerce business. In order to flourish in the company, Nayan had to overcome his insecurities and worries. But he was not expected to do so himself. Nayan got a lot of support from peers and CEO.

Although they are in very different industries, Jim and Nayan flourish because they feel valued. They think they matter at work. Jim feels valued by peers and customers. Nayan is respected by his boss. They are lucky. They tend to “case” – but not everyone is so lucky.

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To understand the experience of feeling valued or devalued at work, the researchers conducted a Study With the cleaning staff of the hospital. For the most part, the cleaners felt completely neglected and invisible. Bertie, one of the cleaners, talked about feeling devalued: “I don’t think they (doctors and nurses) value our work.” Safai Karamcharis felt humiliated, low and humiliated.

Make no mistake: It’s not just cleaners who feel devalued. Workers of all levels feel silence And forgot. In addition, about 35% of Americans have experienced Naughty at work.

denotes positive or negative consequences of significant impact realizing whether we matter or not, feeling valued is a precondition for personal health and wellbeing, Adding value, or contributing, is a prerequisite for a meaningful life, On the other hand, the negative effects of being unimportant can be devastating. removed from societyExclusion, and rejection are not only painful, but they can also lead to violence and depression. These dynamics are felt intensely Work,

We build a sense of importance at work through interactions with others. Every exchange is an opportunity to make you feel valued or devalued. The messages you get from co-workers and bosses can make you strong or let down. leadership specialist Jane Dutton and her colleagues argue that “valuing interactions are associated with positive emotions such as happiness, gratitude, and appreciation. Devalued interactions are associated with hurt, anger, frustration, and sadness. Thus, social value asserts that interactions at work are powerful for individuals.” creates emotions that contribute to a sense of felt value.”

Leaders, researchers and organizations are concerned about the consequences of feeling valued or devalued – and for good reason. Summary of the state of the art at a psychologically healthy workplace, psychologist David Ballard and Matthew Gravich argues that “feeling valued at work is critical to employee well-being and performance, as employees who feel valued by their employer are more likely to be engaged in the work. Employees who feel valued have higher are more likely to report having level energy, being strongly involved in their work, and happily engrossed in what they do.”

Employees who do not feel valued are quickly laid off from work. Work discontinuation, which is widespread around the world, cost to the global economy Not less than $7 trillion.

A safe, engaging and productive workplace culture can be characterized by: acronym SER: helpful, effective and reflective. The health of a workplace can be gauged from its efforts to become a SER organization.

What can you do to create such a culture in your workplace? In 2013, we asked ourselves this question at the University of Miami. Later we started an ambitious project to improve our culture. I was part of a small team created to oversee the process. The group created a comprehensive plan that will improve our support of employees, our effectiveness and our reflectivity.

This process culminated in the creation of an Institutional Culture Office, which I led for many years. Our aim was to foster a culture of belonging where everyone feels valued, and everyone has the opportunity to add value. This process involved the creation of a task force, the assessment of our culture, the creation of a new common purpose, and the establishment of common values ​​as well as new leadership expectations and service standards. Thousands of hours and significant financial resources were invested in training the workforce on these pillars.

After nearly four years of hard work, our efforts were recognized Forbes magazine, which in 2017 ranked the University of Miami as the best employer in the country in the education sector. Key to our success was a deliberate effort to ensure that our employees feel valued and have opportunities to add value throughout the process. We have created a number of avenues through which employees can exercise their voice and preferences. Faculty and staff were happy to share with others the many ways they added value to the university, which in turn made them feel valued.

Isaac and Ora Priletensky

Teams usually succeed or fail depending on their exciting, not cognitive, acumen. Yet most leaders focus on the latter and ignore the former. Leaders believe, erroneously, that people should be able to check their emotions at the door and stay focused on the task at hand.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In high-performing teams, it is not technical skills that drive great productivity. it is rather relational sharpness of team members. Skills like emotional intelligence, empathy, and turn-taking make all the difference. If we want to improve the workplace in America, we must focus not only on being productive, but on relational value.

If you’re serious about building relational value in your organization, be patient. Culture change is a marathon, not a sprint. Leaders must demonstrate commitment to the psychological needs of employees. At the University of Miami, it took many years for faculty and staff to trust the authenticity of the process. But once workers felt more valued, they added more productive value. That’s what counts in action.

Isaac Prilleltensky is an academic and consultant. He holds the Moutner Endowed Chair in Community Welfare at the University of Miami (Fla.), where he also served as Dean of the School of Education and Human Development and Vice Provost for Institutional Culture. His latest book, from which this article is quoted, “How people matter: why it affects health, happiness, love, work and society,(Cambridge University Press, 2021), co-authored with his wife Ora Prilleltensky. Visit for more information www.professorisaac.com, He can be contacted at [email protected]

more: If Your Employer Really Wants to Hire the Best Employees, Here Are 4 Proven Paths to Success

Too If job interviewers treated women and people of color more fairly, there would probably be fewer staff shortages.

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