Value and Worth in the Workplace
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There is a popular social media post that often accompanies someone’s rough day at work or a separation from their employer.

The quote is: “Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth” unknown author

When used in the workplace context, it screams someone’s feelings as to how they feel they were treated by an individual or group of individuals. When value and worth are used to describe how you feel about a reaction to someone else’s actions, it points back to how you feel about your own self-worth. If your self-worth is defined by how much an employer pays you, compliments you, remembers to thank you or gives to you in other ways, every time you are not engaged in a conversation or change you don’t agree with you will feel devalued.

A friend of mine recently told me that their General Contractor came to them with a change-order from the plumber. The original quote was based on the labor burden for an employee they slated to do the work , but the employee had since resigned. This employee had the special skills needed to do gas plumbing and the other employees did not. The wages for the new hire with the gas plumbing experience would put the plumber at a loss on the job and force the General Contractor and Owner to pay an upcharge or get another plumbing contractor.

Did the owner of the plumbing firm not value the previous employee by paying him more so he left? Maybe he did value the employee since he bid gas plumbing jobs knowing that person was the only qualified employee to perform the work? We don’t know. All we know is even if he wanted to pay him more, he could not do so immediately. If he did, the projects already committed to were in a position to lose money. Maybe the gas plumber and his employer had the discussions for him to hold out for a raise. Maybe they did not. Whatever took place it probably did not have anything to do with how they valued one another, but more to do with circumstances and timing.

Value and worth defined to refer to monetary wages in the workplace should always align with the monetization model of the company. As an employer, we often want to pay an employee more because we do value them.. As an employer, if we can’t justify the wages as it relates to the health of the business, we may find ourselves having to reduce an employee’s compensation at a later date or force a lay- off to protect the business.

The best employee and employer relationships value one another with open discussions on expectations. Each side has the responsibility to acknowledge feelings, yet react on fact and respect timing. Getting let go is never the right timing for the person losing their job and difficult for employers to do. You would be surprised how many employers hang onto people they do value, but can’t afford., causing a myriad of other challenges within organizations including an inevitable lay-off at some point.

Do you define your value in the workplace through raises, compliments and special treatment?   On the non-complimentary days at work does your performance or attitude spiral downward?

Recognizing the value of your employer and the fact they chose to hire you, the challenges they face in business and your ability to value the others that work with will fill your emotional value tank. The way you choose to measure your worth affects the kind of life you’ll live in the workplace and at home. Take time to measure value on factors you can control.

When you know who you are — and you’re pleased with the person you’ve become — you’ll experience a sense of peace through life’s inevitable ups and downs. You’ll believe in yourself regardless of whether you’ve been fired, reprimanded, or failed to get a raise or promotion.

“Creating Value For Others Creates Value For Yourself”

Steve Harvey

To Creating Value,

Suzanne Breistol

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