How do you really know if you are adding value to your organization? We can look at our peers and measure ourselves against their performance. Or we can think about our contributions that we’ve made. But how do you know if your contributions are really adding value?
I’ve struggled with this particularly early in my career. I thought that doing what I was asked to do was enough. Actually, I thought it was more than enough. It wasn’t until I had a reality check that doing only what is asked is not really adding value. Sure, the work getting done is valuable, but can you consider that as adding value?
Let’s have a reality check and see how well you can answer the following questions.
Are you doing so well that you can’t be ignored?
Have you received any awards for your performance lately? Maybe your organization doesn’t have the funds. What about praise for a job well done? What kind of feedback are you receiving?
Are you focused on solving problems?
Complaining really does get to be very irritating. Instead of always complaining about things, go come up with some viable solutions. If this doesn’t work, keep trying. Make sure you humble yourself and be pleasant.
Are you volunteering for assignments?
A great way to add value is to volunteer for additional work. But you need to be pleasant to work with too. Keep that in mind.
Some benefits to volunteering for new work include having an opportunity to learn more skills, meet and connect with others in or outside your organization, and do something different. Variety is the spice of life, right? There are many other benefits to volunteering for projects or work assignments, but I think you get the idea.
Are you learning different functions?
I think the greatest way for a person to add value is to be able to step in when others are out or they leave the job. To have the ability to do this, you might need to volunteer for other assignments. But simply asking “what can I do to help get the work done?” is a huge value add!
Are you humble enough to do whatever it takes?
I have so much respect for leaders that will jump in and do the work. All the people I’ve worked for that have gotten their hands “dirty” too, always earn my respect. The opposite for me is true as well. When I see people that are too educated to make copies. It makes me think twice about having them on my team. I don’t want to work with someone like that. The best teams are those that come with a great attitude and willing to do whatever it takes.
How did you do on the questions? Are you really adding value?