“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

We all need to work to earn a living, but money is not necessarily the prime motivator when it comes to job satisfaction. More importantly – both in the working world and in life in general – we tend to thrive more when we feel we bring value. The moment you are valuable is when you are successful in what you do.

As raised in our March blog, It begins with managing expectations, material things, and external conditions such as money, fame, accomplishments, and even the approval of others don’t equate to fulfilment and happiness. We need to look deeper to find what we need to feel valued and appreciated.  

Dr. Paul White workplace relationship psychologist, business consultant, and author of the book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace takes this further and explains from his findings: 

“We have to self motivate ourselves, but at some point it’s nice to know that someone appreciates what you do! Unfortunately most people don’t feel appreciated. Some research shows that 65% of the workforce say they haven’t heard anything positive back about their work in the last 12 months. Another study showed that 79% of people who leave voluntarily or quit cite that lack of appreciation was one of the main reasons why they leave.”

This is also touched on in a WorkStride article by Meredith Mejia, Validating Employees’ Self-Worth: What Managers Need to Know

”The desire for approval and validation is a central theme of human existence. Under the right leadership, this desire can become a motivating factor for high-performance and consistent growth. On the other hand, when employees don’t feel like valued members of a team, they may become disengaged and eventually seek employment elsewhere. Even when the pressure is on, the most effective leaders are good at validating employees’ self-worth while inspiring them to do their best work.”

And in another article entitled, Compensation or validation: which matters more to employees?, Katie Kuehner-Hebert explores a report from Globoforce’s WorkHuman Research Institute. The findings of this show that having a personal sense of meaning in one’s work – and receiving validation by managers and peers for it – holds more weight than compensation, salary included, which is only the third drawcard for staying in a job. The second is to be part of an enjoyable work team.

If you’re not thriving, you’re just surviving. So let’s be conscious about adding value where we can – and encouraging, appreciating and acknowledging others who do.