These days, people talk a lot about adding value in the workplace. Specifically, everyone wants to know how to become a more valuable employee. After all, when you add more value at work, you should (in theory) receive more value as well. It’s only natural; contributing at greater levels should enable you to earn at greater levels too.
In my newest book, The Invisibility Cure, I cover this topic in depth. I also offer a comprehensive training program called, “Know, Grow and Show Your Value,” which has proven to be one of my most popular programs in recent years.
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So, my point is, I’m passionate about the topic of adding value at work—and I have a lot to say about it. In this article, I’ll be highlighting a few key concepts for those just starting to consider this question of value. If you find the information here enlightening, grab a copy of The Invisibility Cure to learn even more how to become a more valuable employee.
Why Become a More Valuable Employee?
As stated previously, when you create more value for others, you create more value for yourself.
Think of it this way: As an employee, you are an investment for your organization. You sell your services and your employer buys them. You want a fair price for your work, and they want a strong return on their investment.
Their decision to buy from you (and keep buying) is based on a cost-to-value comparison. You want to deliver enough value that the cost of employing you is a no-brainer. As you deliver even greater value, the price you can reasonably “charge” increases as does the price employers are willing to pay—both in dollars and in opportunities.
As you contribute greater value in the workplace, you will enjoy a number of benefits. High-value employees:
- Experience greater career fulfillment. Studies show that satisfaction is deeply connected to contribution. The more impact you have, the more intrinsically rewarding work becomes.
- Earn more opportunities for career advancement. By delivering greater value, you strengthen your professional reputation and create measurable results for your organization—two important factors you can leverage when seeking a promotion.
- Have higher earning potential. When your work has a clear, positive impact on the organization, you can justify your desire for a raise and support your request with concrete evidence.
- Enjoy a deeper level of job security. Employees who find ways to add value to their everyday tasks will always be a better investment than those who simply do the basics. That means, when times are tight and resources are scarce, you can rest easy. Any company would rather spend its dollars employing a high-value individual than a merely satisfactory performer.
How Do You Create Value in the Workplace?
Value is about more than your duties and responsibilities; it’s about the impact of those things—the real results you create through your work. Below, I’ve identified the 7 ways to add value to your organization.
1. Make Money
2. Save Money
3. Improve Quality of a Product or Service
4. Improve Efficiency with which a Product or Service is Delivered
5. Improve Effectiveness of the Team
6. Fix an Existing Problem
7. Prevent a Future Problem
You can take any aspect of your job—any task, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant—and identify its value based on these 7 categories. If a certain component of your job does NOT contribute value in one or more of the ways listed above, you should re-evaluate why you’re doing it. Perhaps it’s not a necessary thing to devote your time and energy to.
How to Become a More Valuable Employee
Everything you do at work should add some kind of value. But, if you want to increase the value you contribute, you need to take some extra steps.
As you approach your daily tasks, ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to make that particular item even more valuable. Look at the list of 7 value-add strategies above and consider these questions:
- How can I make this more profitable? Less costly?
- How can I improve the quality, efficiency or effectiveness of this?
- How can I fix what is broken, or proactively fix what might break soon?
Simply by asking yourself these questions, you will begin to think more critically and creatively about your work. You will inevitably discover simple, highly impactful ways to increase the value of your day-to-day responsibilities.
If you want to become a more valuable employee, look for ways to use your existing skills to deliver greater value within the confines of your current responsibilities. But don’t limit yourself! High-value employees see the job description as a minimum expectation. So, as you boost the value of your typical daily tasks, also work to develop new skills and find opportunities to take on new responsibilities wherever you can. The more you stretch yourself, the more you will grow and the bigger your capacity for creating value will become.
To become a more valuable employee, always look for opportunities to go over and beyond—add those little flourishes that turn mediocre work into exceptional work. Often, it’s the small things that really shine in the workplace. Don’t settle for being average. Solve problems and initiate improvements. Do more and do it better. These are the simple, though not necessarily easy, principles of the high-value employee.