Signs You're Valued at Work
Given that we spend most of our lives at work, it really sucks if your dedication to the 9-5 goes unnoticed - but appreciation comes in all shapes and sizes, and some colleagues may struggle to express themselves even if they're over the moon at the quality of work you produce. We share some of the signs to look out for to know that you're valued at work.
The easiest way to feel valued is when you're told you're fab to your face. Smaller tasks can often go unrecognised, and if you're consistently producing high quality work it's easy for management to begin to expect your best, rather than appreciate it. As appreciation is a two-way street, giving praise to your manager for the little things will remind them to look out for all the ways to notice and praise your hard work too.
Being trusted to do the difficult tasks is a subtler sign that your efforts are being recognised. It can be daunting to be given a project that may feel way beyond your capacity - but if your manager believes you can do it, so should you. Their ability to view your skills objectively can be more telling than the doubts that creep into our head as soon as we start to overthink what we can and can't do - so take it as a compliment the next time something a little out of your comfort zone gets dropped on your desk.
Seat at the Table
Being asked for advice is a real boost to self-esteem. It not only shows a level of trust in a professional relationship, but also indicates that your knowledge and wisdom are being noted. Having the opportunity to help out with ideas, projects, and problems is a sure sign that your work is not only appreciated, but viewed as integral to the functioning of the business.
Raises & Promotions
Another obvious one, but raises and promotions are perhaps the easiest ways to measure the efforts you've put in. Whilst there is a negative trap in relying too much on material validations - it's not healthy to attach self-worth to titles and salaries - in the short term it's nice to know that you're moving on up because you worked your arse off. Just make sure to check yourself if you're not getting promoted either. There are hundreds of reasons that have nothing to do with your ability as to why you're not progressing as fast as you want to - titles aren't a reflection of your skill, and appreciation comes in many more forms than a paycheck.
Investment in Employees
This doesn't have to be a great big fancy party, but a workplace that values its employees should invest in them beyond just their salary. Rather than waiting for Christmas to roll around to treat everyone, having quarterly activities that promote and celebrate teamwork, as well as more frequent, smaller events like lunches, days out, and general non-work related socialising are all fantastic ways to show you're cared for as more than just an employee, but as a person. A company investing in something like a weekly wellbeing newsletter (cough) is another great example of putting the human first, the professional second.
To know your manager cares about your future, takes notice of what you do, and wants you to progress is through regular feedback. This can be both positive and negative, but as long as the feedback is constructive then it's easy to gauge whether your efforts are being recognised or not. If you haven't already, set up a monthly meeting with your boss to see whether your outlook on how you're doing lines up.
If you're over-worked and under-appreciated, it's so important to put yourself first. Making sure that you feel valued in the workplace is integral to day-to-day workplace wellbeing, so if your company isn't doing that for you, it might be time to find a professional space that does appreciate you.