A poll reveals that 59% of Americans feel unappreciated at work. Some workers who expressed this opinion note that they are willing to give up some of their salaries in exchange for a more appreciative boss. Feeling underappreciated is never pleasant and can harm workers for many reasons.
No law explicitly says that employers should appreciate their employees, but this gesture does not need legislation. Employers should willingly support and value their subordinates’ work. Besides, when workers feel appreciated for their efforts, the company will benefit more in the long run.
If you are a worker not receiving enough appreciation, keep on reading.
What does it mean when you’re underappreciated at work?
Feeling undervalued or unappreciated at work is not something you should quickly dismiss as a byproduct of overthinking. After all, having recurring negative thoughts about your self-esteem is one of the warning signs you are not getting credit for your hard work.
Here are other signs that may confirm you are not getting the recognition you deserve:
You do not receive praise or gratitude
How often do you hear “thank you” or “job well done” from your boss? If your answer is less than the number of your fingers, there could be a severe problem. Receiving praise is a positive reinforcement that encourages workers to do better at their posts and generates sentiments for the workplace.
You lack support
Do you feel supported in your work-related and personal endeavors? Bosses and managers should also look after their employees’ interests and struggles to build an organic rapport during and off work. When workers find difficulty in a particular task or responsibility, they should be able to confide with a superior.
Your impressive job performance is unnoticed
Feeling unappreciated at work often stems from an unnoticed stellar performance. For example, you surpassed the monthly quota or finished the deliverables quickly without compromising the quality of results. It feels good when someone from a higher position congratulates you for doing more, but it can be devastating when the same person takes all the effort for granted.
You feel isolated
Many workers feel isolated because they cannot establish and maintain a social connection with co-workers, managers, and other personalities at work. This situation is common among newcomers but becomes problematic if this problem persists months after hiring. Notably, isolation often occurs because of workplace bullying and other harassment and discrimination incidents.
Your mental health is negatively affected
How do you feel when your boss or manager fails to recognize your hard work and added effort while working? Repeatedly feeling unappreciated at work can cause severe mental health damage to workers. Although the workplace is not a place for relaxation and entertainment, it should be sensitive to everyone’s mental health needs.
Why is appreciation important in the workplace?
This list enumerates the reasons why employees should feel respected and valued at work:
- It improves work productivity and decreases the risk of procrastination while on duty.
- It inspires workers to keep up with company standards, if not exceed them.
- It boosts workers’ morale, allowing them to endure challenges and adapt to changes.
- It prevents internal conflicts.
- It builds workers’ loyalty to the company.
12 Things to do when you are feeling unappreciated at work
There are several factors contributing to you being unnoticed and underappreciated at work. Although these reasons do not justify unfair treatment, they may encourage employees to run the extra mile and improve their jobs.
Try using these tips when you feel undervalued at work:
1. Evaluate your expectations
Workers’ feelings matter, but it is essential to set realistic expectations. You may not receive recognition and appreciation because you failed to meet company standards. It is difficult to solicit positive feedback from the company when you are not producing commendable results.
Also, do not expect your boss or manager always to exhibit acts of appreciation. Because of time pressure and other responsibilities, they may choose to express their gratitude more subtly.
2. Observe how your colleagues are treated
Are your workmates experiencing the same treatment as you? Depending on what you observe, you will realize if you are treated the same, better, or worse compared to other colleagues.
Investigating the experiences of co-workers could help you understand your situation. Ask for their opinion of your experience, so it is easier to evaluate if you are receiving enough appreciation or not.
3. Speak with a colleague you trust
Aside from the melancholy of not being unappreciated, this experience could also cause other negative feelings. Quell these emotions by talking to your work best friend. Since they work in the same space, they could relate to your struggles and validate your experiences.
Talking to someone trustworthy also helps you feel valued while at work. They will support you through the rainy days.
4. Speak with your manager about how you feel
Besides finding consolation from a workplace best friend, it is also beneficial to raise this concern to a superior, especially an immediate manager. They may not act like your best friend, but they can provide a thorough and professional assessment.
Managers and supervisors are familiar with your work, and they may provide you with feedback on how to improve.
5. Take ownership of your contributions
Another possibility why your efforts go unnoticed is that the superiors do not know that they were your contributions. For this reason, you need to be vocal about your contributions.
Being upfront with what you did for the company does not tantamount to bragging or being arrogant. It is normal to be proud of your work and ask for recognition. Otherwise, opportunists will take credit for your hard work and leave you feeling unappreciated.
6. Ask for a smaller workload
Sometimes, asking for fewer tasks is key to workload management. After all, doing more tasks does not automatically warrant appreciation and recognition. For example, when you are drowning in job responsibilities, the quality of your output might diminish.
Workers should assess their limits and avoid taking more than what they can chew. When you focus on fewer things, you can manage your job better and produce higher-quality results.
7. Negotiate for a raise or promotion
When you feel like your superiors are not seeing your worth, confronting them is the next best thing to do. Approach them respectfully as you explain what you’ve been doing for the company.
Present proof that you deserve a promotion. Moving to a higher position somehow acts as a validation of your exceptional contributions to the company.
8. Take a vacation
People who do not take a vacation leave regularly are more likely to suffer premature death due to stroke and hypertension. The primary benefit of taking a vacation is to de-stress and recuperate. You may become so frustrated with work that you feel your efforts went unnoticed.
In addition, going back from vacation will leave your mind refreshed. Consequently, you can improve and become more noticeable to the higher-ups.
9. Start practicing self-appreciation
It is futile to ask for the appreciation of others when you can’t respect yourself. Appreciation should reflect from within. When you know how to appreciate yourself, other people will follow suit.
Besides, self-appreciation is a good practice to know if you are valued at a workplace. The problem with many workers is that companies take them for granted because they do not know their worth.
10. Understand why you feel undervalued
Why do you feel unappreciated? Do you have any idea what keeps you from being fully satisfied with your current position? Keep asking questions like this till you receive feedback that speaks to you.
There could be no unified answer to this query, and things can be confusing. Nevertheless, you must resolve this dilemma to help you stay motivated at work.
11. Consider making a career change
You do not have to stay in a job that makes you unhappy and unnoticed. Although it sounds risky, your best option might be undergoing a career shift. The job you are handling right now may not be the position where you are meant to be.
Explore the market and determine which job matches well with your skillset. You will be surprised by the variety of jobs waiting for you.
12. Work on developing your career
When a career shift feels wrong, try opting for a pursue career progression. Thanks to technology and other modern developments, employees could develop new and more intensive career development goals. The sky is the limit.
Although you seek approval, do not make it your motivation to improve. Be better for yourself. Once you conquer your past weaknesses, other people will gradually realize your worth.
Take Skill Success courses to increase your value at work
Skill Success understands that career development is one of the most powerful intrinsic motivators for workers whenever they feel stuck in their professional endeavors. For this reason, we commit ourselves to produce top-tier online courses that help increase productivity at work, boost competencies, and open growth opportunities. Since our library has 3,000 courses and counting, you will have a field day choosing what new skill to learn.
All workers deserve to feel appreciated
Regardless of position, specialty, and experience, employees deserve to feel appreciated for all their efforts at the workplace. Providing affirmation for hard work and dedication should be a bare minimum because human beings are not emotionless robots. A one-liner verbal praise such as saying “Good job!” can already do a lot for their mental well-being.