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4 ways to dealing with feeling unappreciated at work

The wonderful thing about being human is that you have the capacity to set your own goals and find joy in accomplishing them. In fact, you can foster self-appreciation.

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The wonderful thing about being human is that you have the capacity to set your own goals and find joy in accomplishing them. In fact, you can foster self-appreciation.

If you’ve ever worked before, you’ve probably experienced this feeling of unappreciation. We’ve all had those low moments where regardless of the amount of effort you’ve put in your work, it seems like your supervisor or manager never sees or appreciates. As emotional beings, we crave recognition and always long for appreciation, thus lack of the latter makes us frustrated and feel resentment and eventually hurting our self-esteem. What matters most is how you react and grow from those experiences.

If for instance, you were to take two people and give one of them a Ksh. 50,000 bonus for their hard work and another a five-minute talk on how much you appreciate their hard work and what they mean to the company, which individual do you think would walk away feeling more motivated to succeed? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the one with the monetary reward. In almost every case, the person who is verbally told that they’re appreciated is going to be more motivated.

This example speaks to dangers of having employees that feel underappreciated. The human need for appreciation and the power of making people feel valued in the workplace.

So, if you feel underappreciated, at least you aren’t alone. But with that being said, here are some practical things you can do to avoid wallowing in despair and stay motivated.

  • Take your emotions outside- If you’re feeling unappreciated at work, chances are your emotions are also running high. You may feel depressed, frustrated, angry, exhausted, or everything all at once.But you have to maintain your composure on the job or people will quickly lose respect for you no matter what the circumstances. So, if you feel like you’re about to explode or burst into tears, take a walk outside and get away from everything for 5-10 minutes to cool down.
  • Motivate yourself with goals- The wonderful thing about being human is that you have the capacity to set your own goals and find joy in accomplishing them. In fact, you can foster self-appreciation.Since you don’t get a ton of positive feedback from your superiors, you may have to set your own goals and track your progress.

If you answer calls on a customer support line, keep charts of the number of tickets you close each week. When you do this, you’re able to create internal motivation. While this can’t fully replace positive encouragement from superiors, it serves as a small consolation to keep you going during desolate times.

  • Make your contributions known- You could be your own cause of feeling unappreciated at work without even realizing it. Does your boss know the things you’ve done, have you pointed out your achievements? If your managers and colleagues have no idea what you’re doing all day, how do you expect them to look up to you or acknowledge you for any of your hard work, ideas, and contributions? Make sure your boss actually knows what you’re working on. This differs from bragging as it geared towards ensuring that your work does not go unnoticed.
  • Recognize the Significance of Your Work- A lot of people feel underappreciated and lack motivation because they fail to see the significance of their own work. While it’s ultimately up to your boss to convey this significance, you may have to do your own reflection if you aren’t getting any support in this area.

At first, you may think a certain task is useless, but dig deep. You aren’t just making a sales call. You’re making a sales call in order to sell a product that will provide value for someone else’s business. Should they purchase the product, it’ll help them grow their business and support their family. It’ll also add to your company’s bottom line, which will lead to growth and new opportunities for you and your co-workers.

See how thinking through something as simple as a sales call can help you fully appreciate the value of your work? It’s something fairly easy that you can do with just about any task or objective.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to encourage motivation, despite an overwhelming lack of appreciation in your current job. The key is to foster self-confidence, even when nobody else is giving you the encouragement you crave.

It’s also important that you do your part of building a workplace culture that prioritizes appreciation. If you aren’t in a managerial or leadership role, you can still do small things that make people feel valued.

Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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