What (and who) makes people feel valued?


Over the past 20 years I have interviewed hundreds of people in a range of organisations. It has constantly fascinated me to find out what makes them feel valued.

They most often respond by describing simple thanks and praise as the mainstay of feeling valued. Recognition for their expertise from colleagues comes a close second.

It is interesting to speculate on some of the following quotes from interviews:

“Hard to answer why I feel valued – I’m left to get on so I assume there is a level of trust”
“I feel that my role is valued, and I’m not sure that I am”
“I feel valued by the team but not by the managers – from them we hear more about the bad things than the good”

To me, all of the above quotations around feeling valued suggest that motivation was lacking. Contrast them to the following:

“We are recognised for going above and beyond – it happens all the time”
“People ask for my opinions and views – I’m seen as having expertise”
“I feel especially valued by the team – a lot of conferring”
“A thank you is all that is needed”

To me these statements reflect higher levels of motivation; and what shines out is the part that leaders play in making their people feel valued. Never underestimate the impact of good leadership!