It’s Time to Appreciate and Value the People Who Work Outside the Limelight

by William Childs

Did you ever stop to consider the sheer number of people that get up every day and do their job without any fanfare or significant recognition? You may even be one of them.

Very few of us know what it feels like to run a Fortune 100 company, make decisions that can affect millions of people, or have a platform as a social media influencer with millions of followers on TikTok or Instagram.

I remember the TV show ‘Dirty Jobs’ where the host, Mike Rowe, toured the US, finding the dirtiest jobs people do to earn their living. The show brilliantly revealed that many incredibly dedicated and passionate people love their dirty jobs. The program profiled ordinary people doing extraordinary things to keep our country moving forward. It gave the country insight into those who work outside the limelight. Author David Zweig wrote a fascinating book titled, ‘Invisibles. The power of anonymous work in an age of relentless self-promotion’ said, “Invisibles are in all walks of life. What binds them is their approach – deriving satisfaction from the value of their work, not the volume of their praise,” to which he added, “We might think that the person at the head of the boardroom table is the one with all the responsibility. Still, it’s often someone unknown to the public who bears much of the weight.”

Have you ever worked at a company where you felt anonymous and unappreciated? If you have, then you know how demoralizing it can be. Yet, one of the easiest ways to let someone know you respect their contributions is to acknowledge that you see them. Telling someone you ‘see’ them lets them know on a deeper level that you recognize that they matter. Unfortunately, many leaders need help understanding this straightforward, uncomplicated approach. Telling employees, you appreciate them is still a great way to honor their role in the business. Another one is paying them a wage that reflects that appreciation. The two are not mutually exclusive. If the era of the great resignation showed us anything, it’s that people want more than just a paycheck for their work.

Eric Mosley, CEO, and co-founder of Workhuman®, a company that helps the world’s leading brands build cultures that leverage the power of connection. “People achieve their fullest potential when they feel appreciated, connected, and empowered to be who they are in their work. People want purpose, meaning, and gratitude. Purpose is shared, meaning is personal, and gratitude is the great connector, said Mosley.

Here are some people I think are worthy of some serious appreciation:

To the bus drivers who ensure their riders get where they need to go safely and on time. I see you. To the health care workers, nurses, home health aides, nursing assistants, and janitorial staff on the front lines fighting to keep us healthy while putting their health at risk. I see you.

To the teachers who show up every day and do everything they know how to inspire their students, I see you. To the mechanics who keep our cars and airplanes running, the welders who build our cities, and the farmers who grow and cultivate our food supply. From the restaurant industry professionals working long hours to the volunteer crossing guards who ensure that children safely cross the street, I see you. Bank tellers, day care professionals, librarians, civil servants, postal workers, I see all of you, and I’m grateful for you. Every single one of those jobs is crucial to our success as a nation. It’s not difficult to find someone in your world who shows up consistently and does their work at a high level without any self-aggrandizement. After all, the people who don’t go looking for appreciation are the ones who deserve it the most.

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