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Competent employees must be appreciated for their great work either in means of money or recognition. This will encourage the employee to continue to perform well. Otherwise he/she could end up with the organisation's competitor. Something we don't want :)

Thanks, Ann! Appreciate the reference.

As to the post, excellent point on "appreciate being needed." That goes part-and-parcel with "need to be part of something meaningful/something greater than themselves." I'm glad you added important emphasis to this point.

I passed up several job opportunities working for F500 companies this past summer. Why? It really came down to the essence of what you are speaking of - being needed. The F500s didn't really need me, rather I felt they wanted a body to rubber stamp their actions/decisions (in other words, they didn't want someone to voice the truth or be a contrarian). I waited and was rewarded with a start up opportunity where I make a lot less than I could have elsewhere. They appreciate me not only for my knowledge and experience, but also for me as a person. The latter is unquantifiable; money and recognition can't buy it.

Being needed is surely an important component of job satisfaction. However, regardless of needed an employee is, s/he still needs to be prepared for becoming a victim of a reduction in force. So many times I've worked with clients whose coworkers were stunned with disbelief that they were let go. Despite being a pivotal member of the department or team, the "go-to" person is still vulnerable, especially if s/he has been with the organization for any length of time.

I don't want to be a "downer" on the subject of feeling needed. I would just like to see that the "needed" employees always keeps their eyes and ears open for opportunities, keep their networks fresh and alive, and be prepared for anything that may happen, expectedly or unexpectedly. Fellow employees may see them as indispensable, but the corporate office may not have as much insight.

The immeasurable need is right. Thanks Ann for writing this post on such an important topic! Not only do people want to be needed, most if not everyone has a sincere want to exist for the purpose of creating some difference in the world. It virtually doesn't matter if the difference is perceived as needed or not. Whether it be in the office, at home, or in some other organization, a person prefers to know and believe that they exist to make a difference of some sort. That's probably why so many people choose to be artists, or entreprenuers or some other endevour that creates something out of nothing (or so it would appear in other's eyes...that is until the something is created :) )

Thanks for taking the time to share this great post Ann!




Thanks, all of you, for sharing your reactions to and perspectives on the "value of being needed". It's good to see that the idea struck a chord with others as it did with me!

While totally agreeing with all the positive affirmations shown here, I must second Peggy's cautionary warning. Just because YOU feel appreciated does not automatically mean that everyone in the organization agrees. All too often, a person considered invaluable at one point in time is laid off simply because circumstances changed. Won't go into all the potential reasons, but they range from having just the right employee total cost figure that some bureaucrat will meet their magic number by cutting you off, to being cursed by being identified as "dangerously irreplaceable."

Thank you. I couldn't agree with you more. My prior manager was awesome, she appreciated everything her employees did and spoke to them with respect. Respect doesn't work well one way in the workplace. This in turn made her employees work harder for her. When a supervisor is constantly downing their employee's it makes for a "sour" work environment and employees tend to not give 120%, but just want to get done what they have to. Thank you for the great post. I plan on passing this book along to a couple people. :)


Absolutely - feeling needed is a powerful sentiment, but not one that should lull us into complacency about the realities of employment today. Still got to watch your backside.


Glad you liked the post - and that you plan to take advantage of the book ... it's a very helpful one!

Being needed as opposed to feeling redundant... and eventually being fired. You know very well when you are being needed: they call you for this and that, they ask you questions, etc,etc. They make you feel you are important there. In the several jobs I had I had the chance to go through both feelings. When you are being needed motivation rises to high levels. You feel you are doing well. You want to help more. No person in this world denies his need for praise. Yeah, these are wonderful feelings, always!

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About The Author

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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