What To Do If You Don't Feel Appreciated At Work

National Employee Appreciation DayBy Debra Auerbach

Did you know that today, Friday, March 2, is National Employee Appreciation Day? And with so many employees working overtime, doing the work of three people and wondering if they'll get a raise this year, there is no shortage of employees in need of some appreciation. While this day provides a nice opportunity for bosses to honor their hard-working staff, what about the other 364 days of the year?

If you don't feel like your boss appreciates the effort you put into your day-to-day tasks or recognizes that time and again you go above and beyond what is required of you, what should you do? Should you confront your boss about it or learn to find other ways to feel valued at work?

Take the environment into account. "Before you approach your boss, consider whether how you are being treated is unique to you or shared by your colleagues," says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide." "Also consider the state of your firm. Is it in distress like many other companies?" If the answer is yes, Cohen recommends finding other ways to show your value, such as staying late or having a good attitude, even in stressful situations. "These actions will make your boss appreciate you more. So in some situations, the path to appreciation is achieved through a non-confrontational approach."

Start appreciating others. Mary Hladio, founder and president of organizational performance consultancy Ember Carriers Leadership Group, says that if you want to feel appreciated, you need to start by appreciating others, even your boss. "Tell people that they are doing a good job. Say thank you to your boss. Send handwritten notes. You might be skeptical of this idea, but you will start to influence the culture, and others will return the compliments." Plus, making others feel good should make you feel good too.

Learn to take a compliment. How many times have you caught yourself deflecting a compliment someone is giving you? "All too often someone compliments us, and we shrug it off: 'It was nothing,' 'Just doing my job,' 'Whatever,'" Hladio says. "If we can't accept these kind words when given - even if it is few and far between - how are we going to influence our co-workers and our boss to repeat it?"

Make your accomplishments known. Instead of directly confronting your boss about not feeling appreciated, find other ways to make him aware of your achievements. "When you have a success, make sure that your boss and any other key stakeholders are made aware," Cohen says. "A subtle approach is always more effective than in-your-face blatant self-promotion. Focus on benefits to the company. For example: [Send] an email where you share the excitement of hooking a new client, additional revenue you have generated or an innovative strategy that you have introduced and the potential impact on the bottom line."

Be happy with business-as-usual. "Sometimes it is hard to notice a person doing a 'great' job when there is not a negative event to set the standard," Hladio says. "If things are running smoothly, and you are doing your job well, it becomes business-as-usual. So relearn how you fit into the organization and your team." Hladio says that you should find other ways to feel appreciated, such as changing your attitude and staying positive. "If you walk into work feeling satisfied, people take notice, and they'll ask why you are so happy. And if you can, respond [with], 'I come into work and give it 100 percent, and I leave knowing I did a great job as part of this team, and the result of my actions results in this company's success ... How about you?'"

Whether or not National Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated in your office, find a way to reward yourself anyway. You deserve it.

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In federal agencies, appreciation is given if you have the right skin color. bilingual, and kissasser. I quit.

March 05 2012 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They used my many talents, never gave me a promotion, then the company got SOLD to a big TV CHAIN and i was out of work at age 59. WHO wants to hire a TV engineer with FOUR YEARS OF COLLEGE at my age-WELL, no one. Experience MEANS NOTHING to billionaire owners- THEY JUST want CHEAP HELP so they can give THEMSELVES MILLION DOLLAR bonuses at CHRISTMAS TIME. I drive a 17 year old FORD so that I can keep eating and living indoors. Doc

March 05 2012 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I feel under appreciated at work, and it's not my imagination. I do more work than ever before due to cut backs. My boss deflects organizational problems and complaints onto my back. Then I get my paycheck, and I stop feeling sorry for myself. Right now, I am lucky to have this steady employment. It could be MUCH worse.

March 05 2012 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just be happy you have a job and quit complaining. I would do the work of three people if I had a job.

March 05 2012 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The writer of this article has obviously never had a bad boss. My last job was so bad, my health was deteriorating. When my last child got a job and moved out, I was able to retire early. Most of my former coworkers wished they could join me.

March 05 2012 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Lathom

What To Do If You Don't Feel Appreciated At Work
According to this article, bend over grab your ankles and take it like the slave you are.

March 05 2012 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Lathom

What To Do If You Don't Feel Appreciated At Work
According to this article, bend over grab your ankles and take it like the slave you are.

March 05 2012 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I read this article with disbelief. Friday, that all-important "Employee appreciation day", I went home in tears. I have ALWAYS - in every job I've ever had - gone far above and beyond the call of duty. I have saved the company money, contributed far more than they asked, was ALWAYS pleasant and upbeat, gladly helped relieve the burdens of others, etc.

Nothing has worked here. My pay was cut just because he could - no one else's, just mine. I desperately want a job where I can be part of a TEAM, but that is denied to me here. I am an outcast, and haven't a clue why. I have tons of experience, but at 69, am considered by many to be too old to bother with. THere are no jobs in my state, so I have no choice, but believe me, the psyche is battered, on a daily basis, and I am helpless. I've never been helpless before, and do not know how to change it. I hope that others are better off. Employers have cut wages for everyone, because of the glut in the pool of available talent. It is going to take many years to regain what we lost, if we EVER do.

March 05 2012 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think I patted myself on the back for employee appreciation day. Or did I? Hard to recall when one does the work of 4 people but I am pretty sure one of my personas did. Better than getting pink slipped or a kick in the arse. One way to know you are doing a good job is the fact that you still are still employed.

March 05 2012 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What we really need is to get our unions back to negociate with the companys for our rights and wages and benifits. That is the only way back from the disrespect companys show there employees.

March 05 2012 at 10:46 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pabound2's comment

Unions have destroyed this country. Remember that ONLY 12% of the entire work force are union members. Unions have been in a decline for over 40 years. Unions ARE the reason that companies ship the jobs overseas.

March 05 2012 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to petpetdonna's comment

Sure, it was those greedy unions.......Otherwise the generous and patriotic American companies surely would have kept their businesses here, why else would they send jobs overseas where they could pay someone $5 a day (if they're really lucky/management) 1 day's pay for an employee in America at
federal minimum wage ($7.25) is $58. That's 11 foreign workers for the same amount with some change left over, would you be able to work for minimum wage, let alone $5 a day?
Don't blame unions for greedy companies and the bargain at any cost American consumers who sold out their own futures so they could pay $20 for a chemical ridden blender that lasts 2 months before breaking

March 05 2012 at 11:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

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