Most people I work with, either in coaching or within their teams on away days, say that being valued is key to their motivation at work.
This is expressed most frequently in complaints that they are not valued, usually by their manager. This then translates into there is no point in working hard because ‘you get no thanks for it’
However, when I ask what being valued looks like, staff find it difficult to define. A passing thanks is not enough and I can see there are some people for whom being valued translates into pay increases, new challenges, promotion; whereas for others it means a real appreciation of the quality of work they are doing. In addition there are some who like team appreciation in the form of occasional lunches, cakes and coffee: treats bought by the manager/organisation for the whole team.
So step one is working out which one works for you.
Step two don’t wait for it to happen, [most managers haven’t a clue on this one]be clear with your manager what works for you and what s/he can do to enable you to feel valued.
If its material benefits, ask them clearly what you need to do get that pay rise or promotion.
And if it’s being appreciated, state what form you’d like that to take. [Before you start moaning that having to be this explicit defeats the object because ‘the manager should know’: most managers don’t know and telling them can save a fair amount of bitterness when they get it wrong].
Managers in turn can easily work out for themselves what works with each of their staff and I am always surprised they don’t bother to do it because getting this right can reap fantastic benefits in terms of individual and team morale and motivation.
This goes right up the line to the ‘top’. when something you have done has really changed things for the better and it’s been noticed, however small, definitely makes us glow.