Let's face it - when about 3 million Americans quit their job each month, there's a problem.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, three million employees have left their job voluntarily every month since June 2017. That's not even counting the amount of people *thinking* about quitting...
AND, that's only in the U.S! Imagine globally? What's going on?
Money is the foundation of how we value our work, and the price we set for our work reflects how we value ourselves. Without fairly being compensated for our work, our sense of value diminishes. The salary and benefits we offer others is often the first way we show the people we are going to work with how much we value them and what they deliver. How we are navigating compensation conversations determines if a person is left feeling valued or not, and the truth is, money conversations are inherently hard. Showing you are valued and value the work people are doing is about much more than how much you pay them and what their compensation package is - but, is at the heart of what we know to feel valued at work.
We value people and feel valued by them when expectations are met. Expectations are what we think we should get and what others think they should get from us. At the start of a working relationship we often write our expectations in a contract, we may talk about how we expect to work together as we start our working relationship, we may even review them during performance appraisals or contractual reviews. But that is not all that expectations are. Expectations are also the way we each think things should work and the standards we set for ourselves and others. Sometimes they are explicit, but often they are not. In a valued workforce, we build shared expectations and actively manage everyone’s performance, including our own, in line with those expectations.
Showing we respect the people we work with is fundamental to all our working relationships and communications. It's not just about recognizing someone's position or the authority they have; it is about accepting who they are, what they are trying to achieve and valuing them as a person. It does not mean you have to agree with everything they say or do, but it is about starting a conversation from the point of knowing that they have a valid opinion. It’s all very well saying to someone you respect them, but if you are not listening or considering what they say or if you are doing other things at the same time the respect won’t be felt. Our actions, especially in crisis situations, as well as our words, communicate the respect (or lack of it) we have for people
Appreciation is not all high fives, whoops of ‘way to go’ and saying thank you; it’s way more than that! We experience appreciation in different ways - and showing our appreciation in the language someone speaks ensures they understand and feels appreciated. We would not expect people to understand what we are saying if we speak a foreign language, and showing our appreciation is a language someone does not speak is the same. How we communicated our appreciation in the workplace, and especially in the digital workplace but done right, it builds loyalty and great performance. It’s the glue that binds a team together and the balm that keeps someone going after a hard day. Appreciation is not just the job of the leader; even they need to feel appreciated.
We can’t feel valued at work without knowing what difference our work makes. We all need to know our purpose and meaning, why we do what we do. We feel most valued when what we contribute is something that is important to us. Every role in an organization contributes to the performance of that organization and knowing why things need to be done as well as how they should be done allows everyone to contribute to the smooth running of the business and to continually improving results. The contribution we make feeds the value we create which in turn cycles back and feeds our feeling of contributing - it’s a virtuous circle. How we align our work with the contribution we want to make in the world may change over time, but our need to contribute and our contribution being recognized does not.
Trust is the platform our relationships are built on. We need to trust ourselves and the people we work with. We also need to feel trusted to do our work and as a person. Every interaction we have with people either build trust in the relationship or take away from it - it’s the currency of our relationship bank account.
Want to learn The Valued Workforce™ core elements philosophy and infuse it in your working relationships and environment?