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More employees are leaving jobs because they want to feel more valued at work

As more people change jobs after the pandemic, a communications expert says more than a paycheck, people want to feel valued at work

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A survey from Prudential shows 20% of Americans quit their jobs or changed their careers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Twenty percent is a lot, but for the other 80% of workers still grinding it out every day at the same job, there's no question they are looking for more.

Communications expert Odell Bizzell said an employee's desire to keep working at the same job could come down to needing some praise, encouragement, or even a symbolic pat on the back.

"Since the pandemic, people have faced the reality that tomorrow is not always promised.  Time is limited and they're saying I'm not going to spend my time doing something that I don't like or somewhere that I'm not appreciated or compensated," Bizzell said.

While money is a driving force to your happiness at work, Bizzell said it is not just about the paycheck anymore.  He says, feeling appreciated for the value you add to the company is paramount.

Bizzell said employees who feel valued will stay.

"Appreciation is one of the most beautiful pieces of compensation that human beings can get.  So, if I'm not verbally affirmed or appreciated, then I'm going to leave," he said.

We find examples of this when we think back to grade school.

"If the teacher was encouraging and told you you did a great job or gave you a gold star, then you felt like you could do more.  We all wanted the gold star as children and even as adults that doesn't go away," Bizzell said.

Managers who want to retain their staff can try this technique.

"If you just ask everybody how they're doing, that will raise morale.  If morale is high, then most people won't leave," said Bizzell.

Just as you're figuring out your next steps, so are the companies that are desperately trying to fill these open spots.  Bizzell said you should use that to your advantage and ask for what you want.