This week, we conducted reviews with several of my employees. It is always for me a balance of demonstrating my appreciation for their choosing to work for us and the discussion of how they are or aren’t meeting expectations. The balance is making sure they do not feel unacknowledged in any way for the work they perform and that they know, regardless of discussion, they are valued as a person. It is always easiest with employees who are grateful, team players, and openly communicate their goals, personally and professionally, to align expectations. The reality is every person in a company, even me as the CEO, can be replaced when it comes to responsibilities. After all, it will have to happen if, God forbid, death or disability occurred. The human component (where feelings come in) is just like in a dating or marriage relationship; it is how “important” the other person feels when you communicate what you wish they would make an adjustment with.
Wanting to feel valued came in at number four on Indeed’s list, as we address their list on why people change jobs. Over the years, value in the workplace has been a popular subject matter. We tackled the topic directly in 2019 with the help of a lesson from a Steve Harvey video.
If you feel replaceable at your job and concerned that your efforts are not valued, the time for resolve, emotionally, is right where you are. Why? How you feel is not necessarily evidence of what is factual. If you feel that way now, how do you know that at a new employer, the feeling will not resurface?
Often the feeling of value is more directly related to how a person relates to their supervisor and others in the workplace. This is the cultural fit and communication alignment. DiSC is an excellent assessment tool to help you learn your motivators, stressors, and what triggers your adverse feelings in the workplace, including how valued you feel. If you are not familiar with DiSC, here is a link to a video that explains the decoder.
The first step to overcoming why you feel insecure and replaceable is understanding yourself and the others around you.
Do you believe your employer’s intentions are good and understand your and your supervisor’s communication style?
“Good intentions but bad results; bad results but lessons learned. There is a dark corner on every task beautiful and a beautiful corner on every task dark.”
—Author Cris Jami, The Killosopher
(D) Dominant-facing behaviors, like my own, are results focused. We can make other communication styles feel like we are unappreciative if we move too fast and ask for the next deliverable without slowing down and acknowledging their hard work to get thus far. Coaches often tell dominants that they need to learn how to celebrate even the little things so we realize what it took to get there isn’t always so simple. Dominant personalities don’t necessarily feel replaceable in the workplace as much as they will feel devalued if they have someone holding them up from achieving results. The key for a dominant is to recognize the value of an employer, employee and others around them who may not share the same top priority of results—that the best results in the workplace are aligned with relational unity and other factors that contribute to overall sustainability for the company. Result focused talkers can unintentionally make others feel replaceable by communicating they will get there with or without them.
(i) Influence-facing behaviors are motivated by enthusiasm, and this communication style will often be triggered by how they feel regarding how something was presented or how someone went about doing something. They value excitement and charisma and like a predictable environment. They are often creative and can present ideas without safeguarding that the suggestions align with the expectations and priorities of others, along with having the appropriate back-up data. Unintentionally, the “i” can be the leaders and employees who make others feel devalued by communicating that their charismatic leadership was what allowed the team to succeed despite the time, expertise, and detail that others may have contributed to the success. They often choose to front face even if another teammate may have interest in doing so or have the better front-facing expertise for the audience, causing others to feel replaceable or overlooked.
(S) Those with Steadiness as their leading priority scale like to provide support and maintain stability and enjoy collaborating with others. They are often referred to as “the middle child” and can be overaccommodating. Despite being willing to help others, they may make others feel held back due to their need for harmony; thus, conveying extra effort by individuals is universally credited to maintain peace. The S can be indecisive and have difficulty communicating clear expectations and addressing challenges their subordinates or associates may need them to address with them or on their behalf for resolve. Developing the ability to embrace change and communicate what is important for the business or other communication styles will ultimately create the harmony an S desires; we all know the saying “You can please everyone all of the time.” Often people reporting to an S will resign because of what a supervisor is choosing not to address with a particular individual or group of individuals or speak up on their individual behalf that the person needs independent resolve for.
(C) or Conscientious as one’s top communication priority is a focus on accuracy and expertise. They like to be prepared and like others working for and with them to be prepared. Others can feel replaceable if they don’t understand the level of quality desired in the time allotted to achieve the expected result, or they may not know where to go to obtain the required knowledge. Conscientious communicators are often more reserved and do not freely offer up information without being asked. Communication can come across as bullying or highly critical if they feel compromised by their subordinates or associates and are put front-facing where they might have felt the other person left them vulnerable or unprepared. Others can also feel unappreciated if they are asking and having to wait for the C to provide them information to move forward in their role at the company.
If you watched the DiSC video, every one of us is a combination of all styles; although, we do have three or more out of eight priority scales we tend to communicate with: Results, Action, Enthusiasm, Collaboration, Support, Stability, Accuracy, and Challenge. How we communicate with others can unintentionally make them feel undervalued or devalued in the workplace.
If you are feeling that way, take ownership to communicate, understand, and do your part to listen to the message and not necessarily how you felt about the delivery. After all, your value in the workplace is the balance of knowledge, skill, and attitude. Your ability for upward growth is based on your aptitude, combined with the forementioned, and an employer’s return on investment in you as it relates to sustainability of the company.
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist most well-known for his theories of personal and collective unconscious and extraversion and introversion.
Jung believed that the human psyche, or the body, mind, and soul, was made up of three parts—the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious. He is known for saying, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
Replaceability of everyone in the workplace is inevitable for a sustainable business. Your value is in focusing on what might irritate others about you instead of what irritates you about others and leading to understand. I guarantee you; it will make you feel great!