Is the economy affecting employees’ sense of being valued?
Are the lack of raises, reduction in benefits, and increased workload having their toll? People who don’t feel valued aren’t usually engaged or motivated, so knowing the effect of economic changes on sense of value is important information for companies struggling to stay productive.
Over the course of six weeks Make Their Day conducted a survey that asked:
“Do you feel more or less valued than a year ago?”
Of the 247 people who responded, the largest percentage (42%) said they feel less valued than they did one year ago. In contrast 31 percent reported no change and 28 percent said they feel more valued. Given the circumstances in most organizations: cutbacks, downsizing, extreme budgeting, it doesn’t seem surprising that people might feel less valued than they did a year ago. What you might find surprising is why they feel less valued.
What Affects How Valued Employees Feel?
The most sited cause of significant change in the way they feel was not pay, benefits, or work overload. It was the behavior of the manager or supervisor (49%)!
It always seems to come down to the relationship of the individual to the manager. People can tolerate just about anything but a manager who doesn’t seem to care. Here are a few comments from respondents who stated that they feel significantly less valued now than a year ago:
My manager is less positive.
There is less communication.
Managers are too busy trying to be heroes to their managers.
My manager is angry and disengaged.
These comments seem to indicate that there are more than a few managers who also feel less valued. Organizations often forget the importance of manager engagement in maintaining employee engagement. The following comment is from a respondent who says he/she feels significantly more valued, shows the value of engaged managers:
We have had no cost of living increase for two years in a row, the bonus plan has been stopped, and staff meetings no longer have lunch provided. My “living” costs continue to go up even though my bring-home income has decreased. This, obviously, does not feel good.
A few months ago we (“the staff”) put together three pages of grievances for and about “the management” along with suggestions for improvement. The management responded immediately and positively! We’ve been working with an outside consultant to ensure that everyone treats each other with dignity and respect. What a turn-around! It was risky, because there’s good talent out there that could potentially replace us. The way management handled this has made all of us feel more valued, as you can imagine.
This respondent doesn’t say what the grievances were, but clearly feeling respected was at the core of their concerns. Their managers’ engagement and interest in making improvements in spite of the economy really turned around a difficult situation. I hope employees recognized their managers for coming through for them!
To see the results of this survey click here.