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I was recently asked to devise and implement a staff appraisal scheme in a large organisation. To help me understand the issues I was tackling and develop something appropriate, I undertook an extensive survey of the staff concerned. The number one issue that came back way and above anything else was that they wanted to feel “valued” in their roles and contribution to the business.

A recent US Gallup survey seemed to suggest only 30% of American employees are engaged and inspired at work. That means 70% do not feel engaged and inspired, and of these 20% (20 million) are actively disengaged. The survey blames poor management for much of this active disengagement which it suggests costs the US economy between $450 billion and $550 billion annually. The starting point is to hire the right employees, develop their strengths and enhance their wellbeing. In short, they need to feel valued.

As I considered this, I couldn’t help feeling also that these surveys and research studies were simply reflecting how so many of us look to other people to feel valued instead of looking to ourselves first. Do we value ourselves? We already have great and unique gifts within us. Perhaps we have become used to hiding from them or somehow don’t believe we are anything special. But each and every one of us is special and has something special to offer to the rest of us. How much stronger might we feel in our workplace and in our personal lives if we had a strong and secure sense of ourselves, and really appreciated and valued who we are and what we do without needing to look to others for approval or to provide us with that message….

Jeremy Tomlinson

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