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Feeling Valued At Work Linked To Performance, Survey Finds [POLL]

Not happy with your job? You’re not alone.

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A survey by the American Psychological Association finds half of employees are not feeling valued at work and intend to look for a new job this year.

A variety of factors were linked to feeling undervalued, including fewer opportunities for involvement in decision making (24 percent vs. 84 percent), being less satisfied with growth and advancement potential (9 percent vs. 70 percent), having fewer flexible work arrangements (20 percent vs. 59 percent), and being less likely to say they are receiving adequate monetary compensation (18 percent vs. 69 percent) and non-monetary rewards (16 percent vs. 65 percent). Overall, 21 percent of working Americans said they do not feel valued by their employers.

“I think what we’re seeing is that as some organizations are returning to profitability and starting to come out of the recession, those cuts haven’t been restored…and so employees have been shouldering that extra burden for an extended period of time now…and because we are starting to see a recovery and things are looking brighter for the future, some of them are starting to look for greener pastures” said David Ballard, Assistant Executive Director of Marketing and Business Development for the American Psychological Association.

The survey found employees who feel valued by their employers are more likely to report better physical and mental health, and higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and motivation.

Ninety-three percent of employees who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work and 88 percent reported feeling engaged. This compares to just 33 percent and 38 percent, respectively, of those who said they do not feel valued. Among employees who feel valued, just one in five said they intend to look for a new job in the next year versus 50 percent of those who said that they do not feel valued.

Many Americans continue to report chronic work stress, with two out of five employees reporting that they typically feel tense or stressed out during the workday. Commonly cited causes of work stress include low salaries (46 percent), lack of opportunities for growth or advancement (41 percent), too heavy a workload (41 percent), long hours (37 percent) and unclear job expectations (35 percent).

“The American Institute of Stress estimates that work stress costs U.S. industries $300 billion dollars a year in terms of lost productivity, healthcare costs, absenteeism…so stress is a big issue for both employees and employers” said Ballard.

Despite ongoing business challenges and employment issues that are clearly ripe for improvement, some employers are seizing the opportunity to create a healthy culture where employees and the organization can thrive.

“Employers that really understand the connection between the well-being of their workers and the performance of their organization are doing things to promote a positive work environment and they get business results…so not only is good for the employee, the employers get better performance and they see less absenteeism and turnover and in turn get a good retention rate because they are keeping the very best workers who want to contribute to the success of the organization” said Ballard.


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