Adding Value: Why It Pays to Help Your Employer Succeed
You’re probably doing what your employer expects of you, such as showing up every day on time and completing the tasks assigned to you. But that’s really just the starting point. If you want to stand out at work for all the right reasons, start looking for ways to add value to your organization.
Adding value usually means contributing to your employer’s success in ways that can be measured, such as
- increasing profits
- decreasing losses
- increasing quality
- increasing customer satisfaction
Employees who add value to their organizations are more likely to keep their jobs, be offered raises and promotions, and receive glowing references when they move on.
Your personal performance
What you do at work everyday adds value to your organization when you consistently
- meet your deadlines
- meet or exceed your targets
- grow your skills
- contribute your best work
- improve your performance
Ask yourself how you can work smarter or better:
- How can you improve the quality of your work? For example, do you need to update a skill or learn a new one?
- How can you become more efficient? For example, do you know the short commands for the computer programs you use?
- Which resources or supplies could you use less of or use for longer? For example, could you print fewer documents or shorten your delivery route by a few kilometres?
To maintain a high level of on-the-job performance, it helps to keep a positive attitude. The resources at the end of this article will help you renew your energy and refresh your attitude at work.
Your organization's performance
How can you add value to your organization? Think about your current work situation (or the situation in which you'd like to work) and answer these questions:
- How and when does your organization reach its goals?
How could you help your employer succeed? How could you make more money for your organization? For example, clothing stores often put certain items on sale to encourage customers to enter the store. The employee who can sell a customer a pair of jeans to go with the on-sale T-shirt is adding value. What's the similar situation in your workplace? What are some of the ways you can think of to increase profits or encourage repeat business?
- How and when does your organization fall short of its goals?
Are you or your team having to re-do tasks to meet standards? What tasks take longer than they should? How much time is wasted dealing with dissatisfied customers? How could you work more efficiently? The classic example is a server who always carries the coffee pot, topping up cups on the way. One trip keeps customers happy, speeds up the pace of service and increases the number of customers the restaurant can serve. What's the similar situation in your workplace? What are some of the ways you can work more efficiently? How could you improve your customers’ experience and encourage them to tell their friends about your organization?
Adding value almost always involves making changes. Use your communication skills to make sure these changes go smoothly:
- Talk to your supervisor about what you'd like to do before you do it. Sometimes things are done in specific ways for very good reasons.
- Ask for your supervisor’s support to learn new skills.
- Let your co-workers know what you're doing and ask for their input.
- Ask your customers and suppliers for suggestions and reactions to the changes when it’s appropriate to do so.
- If your current work doesn't offer you the opportunities or challenges you want, view it as a stepping stone to something more fulfilling. Make the changes you can on your own, and know that you can learn from every experience.
Adding value to your organization will benefit both you and your employer. You’ll gain knowledge, learn new skills, and use more of your talents and abilities every day. Your employer could reward you for your efforts, and you’ll almost certainly enjoy your job more.
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Additional Reading (alis.alberta.ca/publications)