Important for staff to feel appreciated

Nothing sinks the morale of employees more than working under a management that shows little or no appreciation for their accomplishments (Sota needs to improve staff satisfaction, by Ms Vivien Tan Ling Ling; May 31).

Workers thrive in an environment where they feel valued and have meaningful work to do.

They want the opportunity to learn, grow and work for a boss who encourages them and appreciates their contributions.

Bosses are supposed to motivate their staff, but the insecure ones often end up competing with subordinates instead.

They jealously guard their position, and fear being upstaged or replaced by talented subordinates.

This problem is widespread among self-doubting bosses who incapacitate the most enthusiastic subordinates, dismiss their innovative ideas and demolish their best intentions. An insecure person in authority not only causes unhappiness among his staff, but can affect the productivity of the company as well.

However, some bosses may simply not be in the habit of expressing appreciation to their workers.

In such cases, the employee who feels slighted should continue doing his best, while not taking the boss' lack of appreciation personally.

Since a worker must maintain his productivity to continue in good standing with his employer, he must continue to be proactive to attain the recognition he desires.

Keeping accurate records of his accomplishments provides much needed evidence to help the boss start taking notice of his contributions.

Fixing periodic appointments and asking one's boss for feedback directly may give an employee insight about the boss.

In the absence of an appreciative boss, feedback from peers may spur the worker to new heights in his job. An employee could, for instance, submit his work for review by his co-workers.

Registering for external training and seminars may give jaded employees new perspectives.

Conferences are an opportunity to step away from the routine of the office, meet others in the same field of work, or even meet prospective employers who may be more willing to express their appreciation for work that is well done.

As for the bosses, leaving the door open to employees to voice their concerns and suggestions helps workers feel that they have a stake in the company, as it considers them important enough to listen to.

Simon Owen Khoo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2017, with the headline 'Important for staff to feel appreciated'. Print Edition | Subscribe