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New Employee Survey Underscores the Value of Feeling Valued

Only 31% of employees in this survey feel valued for the work they do.

Management is far closer to common sense than to rocket science. I often say good management is hard but not complex. That’s why it’s helpful to break it down to its essence. If you can do that, it can help you focus your energies on the areas most needed to succeed.

Wikimedia Commons
"Workers on their way home" by Edvard Munch, c. 1913
Source: Wikimedia Commons

This is why I was interested in a new survey that recently came across my desk. The survey was called The Era of Personal and Peer Accountability and was conducted by TINYpulse, an employee engagement firm. While the survey involved research from over 400,000 employees, and provided insights into numerous management topics, there were three data points that stood out to me, three deceptively simple results that offer meaningful insights to management success.

These results offer insights into the importance of effectively managing appreciation, opportunity and retention. Let’s review the key findings.

Appreciation – When employees were asked if they felt valued for the work they do, only 31% in this survey strongly agreed they did. Interestingly, this number is close to the 30% percent figure of engaged employees that comes up repeatedly in national research. Lack of feeling valued at work is all too common, and invariably a morale-killer.

Opportunity – Only 25% of employees in this survey feel they have “high levels of professional growth opportunities.” Again, ample research data confirms how universally important advancement opportunity is to employees, and how a lack of it has a dampening motivational effect.

Retention – The result? Not surprisingly, given just the two key data points noted above, 25% of all employees in this survey are willing to leave their current jobs for a 10% raise. As the survey summary report noted, “One of our favorite questions to ask is ‘How likely would you be to leave for a 10% raise?’ After all, if employees are truly satisfied on the job, even a nice raise shouldn’t be enough to tempt them to join the devil they don’t know." To the contrary, however, this survey shows sizable numbers of employees are easily tempted by “the devil they don’t know” –—and retention problems have cost implications for lost productivity, hiring, training and all that goes with it.

Two main conclusions from this survey data:

1) If you’re a manager and your employees feel undervalued and see few opportunities at your company, it’s a safe bet they’ll not be fully productive and will be looking for jobs elsewhere.

2) If you’re a manager and your employees do feel highly valued and see ample opportunities at your company, it’s a safe bet they will be productive and will stay at the company for a good amount of time to come.

The diverging paths are clear. The choices are often management’s to make.

This article first appeared at

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Victor is author of The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World (Prentice Hall Press).

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