Feel that you are not valued at work? If this is something you are experiencing, you’re not alone.
A study by the Human Workplace Index found that nearly 30% of workers have felt invisible at work, and 27% have felt flat-out ignored.
If this is something that you believe is happening to you, we’re here to help. We want to ensure that you have the best career advice so that you can make informed decisions.
All employees should feel valued at work, and if you don’t then this may be an indication that it’s time to leave your current role.
But before you make that decision, let’s look at 13 signs that could indicate you are not valued at work, and then what you can do about it.
Table of Contents
1. Not getting any pay rises, or being underpaid for your role compared to others
If you’ve been an employee with an organisation for more than two years and you’ve been working to a high standard but never been given a pay rise, or offered any promotion opportunities, or you notice that your co-workers who are at the same level as you have a higher salary, then this could be a sign that you are not valued at work.
If you find that either or both of these apply to you then you should definitely consider flagging it with your employer, especially if you suspect that your pay is not reflective of the work that you are doing.
2. Lack of opportunities to grow or develop
Being stuck in a job that does not allow room for progression can have a negative impact on your work performance. If you are not offered the chance to take part in any form of training to support your development needs then it’s possible that you are being overlooked by your employer/manager.
Every employee should be given the opportunity to thrive in their career and keep climbing the ladder. However, if this is something that you are unable to do in your current position, then this may be a sign that you are not valued at work.
3. Never asked to get involved in new or exciting projects
It may have come to your attention that the task/projects that you are given are never exciting or new. You are on a repetitive cycle doing the same dull mundane things day in and day out. This can have a negative effect on your experience at work because there’s never anything to look forward to.
If this is the case you should ask to get involved in the projects that are of interest to you and propose some ideas. If these ideas are not taken into consideration then it is a clear sign that you are not valued.
4. Never receive any feedback or recognition
Receiving feedback and recognition is necessary in the workplace, it lets you know whether or not you are on the right track and helps you to improve. If you are not being given feedback or the feedback you get is constantly negative with no suggestions on how to improve, then you should ask your employer what it is you can do to ensure that your work is of a high standard.
If you still do not receive any assistance then it might be worth talking to another colleague to see if they can offer you any advice.
5. Credit for your work or ideas is given to other people
Ever come up with a really great idea and someone else gets credit for it? This is a sure sign that you may not be valued at work. Everyone deserves to feel appreciated for the hard work that they put in and not have this be attributed to someone else.
If you have noticed that this is something that has occurred more than once then use it as an indication to tell you that you are not being valued the way you should be. It might be worth insisting a 1:1 between you and your employer/HR to discuss this issue in further detail so that something can be done about it.
6. You’re expected to sacrifice your work-life balance
If you’re beginning to feel like you have no time for personal activities and your mental well-being is suffering because you are being encouraged to put work above everything else, then this is another sign that your employer is not valuing you in the way that they should.
You are not being seen as an individual outside of your role which is something that will have you feeling overworked and burned out.
7. You don’t get invited to social events
If you are not receiving invites to social events and you are within travel distance then this shows that there may be some hostility towards you in your workplace.
Social events are a time to forget about work and just have fun with your colleagues, and if you are not being brought along to these events, then this is a telltale sign of being undervalued.
8. You don’t have the right tools or support to do your job
Depending on the role you have, there will be different tools or support you need to perform well in your role – your employer should provide these to you.
Without them, you will be at a disadvantage because you will not be able to perform to the best of your ability. This can suggest that you are not being valued because you are not given what you need to progress and thrive.
9. You are put in unsafe or unfair situations
No one should be put in unsafe or unfair situations by their employers, it is their job to ensure the right safeguarding is in place so that you are never at risk at work.
There are many different job roles that come with different risks, for example, if you are working in a warehouse you’re likely to be doing heavy lifting or perhaps you work in an environment with dangerous products.
Your employer should ensure that you are given hazard assessments and the necessary information to ensure that you can carry out your tasks safely. In fact, this one really is a legal obligation.
10. Your boss or colleagues never have time for you
We are aware that in the workplace everyone has their own workload that may cause cancelled meetings or late arrivals. However, if you start to notice that your 1:1 meetings are always missed or people are late without any warning, then it’s likely that they do not see you as a priority.
11. You are micromanaged
Do you ever get the feeling that you are being micromanaged?
You may be in the office with your boss and notice that everything you do is constantly under scrutiny. If this is the case you may start to feel like you are not trusted by your employer to get on with your tasks, which can suggest that you are not valued.
12. You are not invited to important meetings or discussions & never asked for your opinion
Depending on your role you may not be asked to every important meeting or discussion, and that’s fine. With this being said you should still be able to join some of these so that you are able to contribute and provide a different perspective.
When you are invited to meetings, you may realize that you are never asked your opinion, or if you decide to say something your ideas are constantly being shot down. No employee should have to be a part of a working environment that does not value what they have to say or offer to the company.
13. You have a gut feeling
We’ve all heard of the saying ‘trust your gut’, but many of us do not practice it enough.
If you have a strong feeling that you are not valued in your workplace then chances are you’re right as there would have been a series of events that lead you to come to that conclusion.
What You Can Do About It
If you recognize any of these signs it can make for an uncomfortable situation. But don’t despair – there are steps you can take to make things better.
1. Put Yourself in their Shoes
First of all, look for the least negative reason why you might be recognizing any of the above signs. It could simply be the case that your boss or colleagues are incredibly busy. Or that they have a certain personality style.
This could mean that they do in fact value you, but just aren’t very good at showing it.
Starting from this point of view will put you in a more positive frame from which to start taking further action.
2. Be Brutally Honest with Yourself
Ask yourself: “Have I delivered truly great work?”
If you can’t say a resounding ‘yes’ to this question then you need to up your game. You may not be feeling valued at work because you’re simply not delivering great work.
It’s a hard reality to accept, that your work might be sub-par. But if you can perform that honest self-assessment, you will know more about what you need to do.
3. Temper Your Expectations
You are about to take action to improve how you are valued at work. Either you need other people to change how they behave, or you need to change how you behave.
But be realistic: things won’t change overnight.
Your reputation is a consequence of behaviors that you repeat many times. So your reputation will take time to build, or re-build, whatever the case may be.
You need to have regular dialogue with your boss and colleagues. This means setting up formal 1:1 sessions, or informal coffee-chats.
You can use these sessions to request feedback on what your strengths are, what has gone well – as well as your weaknesses and areas to improve.
You can also use these opportunities to – subtly (very important!) – mention some of your key achievements. But don’t over-do it, as you could easily come across as a show-off.
5. Increase Your Visibility
There are many different ways you can increase your visibility so that others can more easily see what you contribute to the company:
- Get involved in more things / projects outside of your immediate remit.
- Volunteer for extra-curricular activities, such as charity days.
- Speak up in team meetings to share your views.
- Offer to present at team or company meetings.
- Put your name on documents and presentations so it gets seen as it is shared around.
- Call out members of your team for recognition.
6. Focus on Internal Validation
Not feeling valued at work implies that you want or need external validation. That is, you need to feel recognized or valued by other people.
Instead, try and rely on your own internal validation of yourself. What do you think about your work? Are you happy with the level you’re working at?
By focusing on, and working towards, your own internal validation standards you will feel significantly more self-fulfilled in both your work and your life.
7. Consider Moving On
After all your best efforts, if you continue to see signs you are not valued at work – and you are not ok with that – it may be time to quit your job and find another role.
In that case, it’s time to brush up your resume, contact your network, and get looking for that next career move.
If you’ve made it this far and have noticed that more than three of these points apply to you then it is evident that you are not being valued at work.
Being valued means that you are recognized for your role and treated fairly and if you are doing something wrong you’re given a chance to develop and improve without being harshly judged.
If you feel like too many of these signs are appearing in your working life then you ought to think about speaking to your line manager or HR advisor to deal with these issues.
Alternatively, you may wish to consider looking for a job where you are valued the way that you should be. To help you on your journey here are 5 Things You Should Consider Before Applying For That Job