Value in the workplace

When you go to work, you want to feel like you’re of value. Perhaps not to the point where the whole place would fall apart without you but at least like what you contribute each day matters.

When a person wakes up, gets ready and goes to work, if they feel like they don’t need to be there or as though everything would seamlessly continue if they walked out, the person won’t take much care in the work they do.

And deep down or perhaps just beneath the surface we all know that often the care comes before the feeling of significance. It tends to start with taking pride in what you do and then the feeling of value or making a worthy contribution comes after.

But what if you’re doing your best and that feeling still never comes?

I think a big part of feeling of value in your job can come from external validation. This isn’t about knowing that you’re working hard and doing a great job but your manager or boss is undervaluing you. This is about how you feel about yourself and the role you play.

I think when a person doesn’t feel like they make a valuable contribution at work, they also start to feel a loss of interest in their work. When it seems like what you do doesn’t matter, what’s the point in caring?

If you don’t see the value in what you do and you’re not interested in it anymore then chances are you’re not happy either. And so the next step is to think about whether or not it’s time to move on to something new or to find a way to make things work.

The importance of balance

Creating a sense of equilibrium, is important.

It’s not about everyone doing the same thing but instead about each person playing a role and having something to contribute.

But, often things end up out of balance. Perhaps, one person is over giving whilst another is putting in the bare minimum effort. Overall it may appear that things are still balanced, they aren’t.

If you’re giving 80% and getting back 30%, you’re now at 50% and probably feeling depleted. For the person giving 30% and getting 80%, their cup is now overflowing. That is not balanced.

I think it’s important to have an understanding of how much each person is willing to give to create understanding. Otherwise you’ll end up making assumptions and assuming the worst.

As soon as possible

In you life you might find that there are people who will create a false sense of urgency. They’ll give you something to do and give you a deadline like ‘as soon as possible’.

So, you put your blinders on because it’s urgent and you don’t want to contribute to something being finished late.

But when you let the other person know you’re done and they appear nonchalant, that’s when you realise the urgency was fake.

Perhaps they couldn’t trust you’d do it within a suitable time without the extra pressure.

Whatever the case it’s important to not allow yourself to get swept up in it all.

As soon as possible might really mean by the end of the day, not right now.

Wanting the credit

If you were someone who led or pioneered in a particular sector or topic, how would you feel if you weren’t recognised for it.

Is getting credit more important than the work being noticed or the voices being heard?

For a lot of people they may tirelessly work towards a cause and receive little attention for it but they keep at it because they care. They keep on because it’s something that matters.

Then sometimes that thing becomes popular, the sector grows and may even reach a point of saturation. People in other areas get involved and if they’re already more established or more well known than you, they’ll receive more attention.

They may be praised as heroic for their contribution to those who have only just started to pay attention. But if you’re the one that was in it from the start, that can be a difficult thing to handle.

You might have to admit to yourself that you wanted the credit just as much as you wanted the change.

Once you do that, find a conclusion, something to bring you solace. Perhaps that it is more important to work on something you care about and be truly committed than it is to simply show up when it’s the cool thing to do.

Boosting morale and feeling connected

Through challenging times it’s always helpful to find ways of boosting morale.

A common way of doing this is through bringing people together.

Very little compares to the feeling of people being united for a common cause. When that cause is gratitude, it really can help people feel connected to each other.

Right now a lot of people are becoming aware of the contributions that particular people make in society.

Despite everything that is going on there is this sense of ‘things aren’t particularly great right now but there are people showing up everyday that are helping to make things a little bit better or easier and I’m grateful for it‘.

I think just knowing that there are people showing up even though it’s difficult is enough to make us all feel a little bit better.

 

Acknowledgments

Growing up I don’t think I ever read the acknowledgements of many books.

I suppose, I probably just thought that’s nothing to do with me, it’s for the people being acknowledged.

But recently I started thinking about who I’d acknowledge if I ever wrote a book and it was quite fun.

I sat and asked myself who in my life has helped, supported or contributed to where I’m at. Those are the people I’d give a shout out to in my book.

I think most of us have people in our lives that have taught us things, sometimes even by accident but they’ve helped shape us.

For me those are people worth acknowledging.

Does equal contribution matter?

When it comes to working on a project or task as a group, is it more important that each member contributes equally or that everyone plays to their strengths.

Initially I thought that it was necessary for everyone to contribute equally but then I got thinking more about the individual.

I think the solution is a balance of the two. Perhaps each person should pick a task in line with their own strength and then balance out the rest.

But contribution matters, especially when the you’re being judged as a team. I think so anyway.