It’s all about your value TODAY!
The dynamic of employment today is very different from years past. Loyalty to an employer, loyalty to the employee, and longevity with a company were all very important defining success in a job.
It’s all about value – the value you deliver today, not yesterday, not last year – but today. Employers are continually measuring their return on investment (ROI) in manpower and looking for ways to increase their ROI — often at the expense of an employee (s). In my practice, I see how employers are making decisions finding and retaining people who can provide the highest value for their dollar spent. When that value diminishes, often so does the person and their job.
In a recent survey, Careerbuilder (www.careerbuilder.com) found 37 percent of employers are planning to replace current employees with new talent in the market now. Reading between the lines, those producing the highest value will stay. The others will go, either voluntarily or involuntarily.
It sounds hard but it is the truth today. Your job as an employee is to determine how your employer measures value (see below) and then put yourself in a role or situation where your value can be measured.
Common value measurements that are used in companies:
Impact on revenue (Do you have influence over how revenue is generated?)
Sales Results (You either sell or you don’t)
Customer Service Feedback (How do customers evaluate your level of service?)
Teamwork (How does one work as a member of a team?)
Communication (Do you communicate – or not?)
Honesty (Are you perceived trustworthy and honest in what you say?)
Respect (Are you respectful to others – employees, customers, and management?)
Productivity (Do you do the job – plus more?)
Willingness to help others (When it gets busy, do you jump in and help?)
Willingness to take on extra work (and not ask for extra pay)
Cooperation (Are you regarded as being cooperative?)
Overall performance rating (How has your manager rated your performance, if you have a performance review system in place?)
Quality of work performed (Good work of high quality, or work that just gets by)
Commitment (Do you exhibit a commitment to your job, or not?)
The list can go on.
Determining how your employer measures your value
The most critical step is understanding how your employer measures your value as an employee. The best way to find out … Just ask…It’s often that simple!
Many call it defining expectations. It’s surprising to hear the number of employees – and employers – who haven’t communicated their expectations, ending up in a disconnect. Some feel it is the employer’s responsibility to define this – I believe it is your responsibility as well. You should take the lead. After all, it is your responsibility to manage your career success – your employer will likely not do it for you.
Next: Align your performance to the value measurement
Let’s say, for example, communication is one of the important values in your company. Your job will be finding ways to improve the quantity, quality and frequency of the communication you deliver.
The value measurement is customer service feedback. Learn to ask every customer, at the conclusion of a service provided to them, how you did and document it. Not only will you be able to provide a measurement of your results, (value), but you will also see your performance improve.
Last: Ask for feedback
Very critical – ask how you are doing. Are you meeting expectations? How can you improve? You might not get solid feedback, but asking questions might impress your employer.
Manage your career. Think of yourself as your own company, You Inc. Take control, evaluate yourself continually, and always deliver value in a manner that can be measured.
Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie. You can reach him at 641.8968 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.next-act.com.