Every great employee knows career success is not just about hard work. And playing well at office politics has term limits. An outstanding employee adds value to the company. Value may be defined as productivity, profitability, innovation, or effective leadership. Most employees strive to convey the value they bring to the table. However, our pursuit to convey worth and actually delivering it can easily get out of balance.
So, what does it mean to truly deliver value?
All members of a corporation or firm need to look at the big picture and understand an employer’s near-and-long-term goals in order to deliver and ultimately demonstrate real value. Becoming a value-add employee goes above and beyond skill and work ethic. Being able to get many tasks done does not always translate into being able to create exceptional worth.
Let’s examine other characteristics that have a significant impact on our ability to contribute at a higher level. The following three attributes go a long way toward increasing the value we bring as employees.
- Be curious about the business you are in. In this fast-paced culture, we can get attached to meeting quick turnaround demands and doing what we are told. Broaden your perspective and start asking questions about why customers (internally or externally) may have frustrations. Asking questions leads to taking action and formulating solutions. Solutions are essential currency for creating value. Asking for feedback because you are curious about your performance and how you can improve will foster a more transparent relationship between you and your employer.
- To really contribute to a company’s success, courage is in order. Risk adverse employees may not be providing the most value. Playing it safe and excusing yourself from workplace controversy to be seen as a team player, or as a way to secure long-term survival, does not contribute to change or improvement. Going along with the status quo only because it is comfortable is a deterrent to progress and change. Good leadership will recognize this. Employees can diminish their value if they do what is expected, even exceeding expectations regarding specific tasks, but by never raising issues or enabling change, the employee is not helping the company move forward.
- There are so many ways to be generous at work. Sharing knowledge, showing encouragement, being inclusive, and anticipating needs are all helpful and go a long way toward boosting the morale of any collective group. Having a generous nature helps alleviate problems regarding lack of communication and misunderstandings about roles and responsibilities. Being generous to yourself is also important, as it can make you healthier and happier, thus translating into more value for everyone within the organization.
The ultimate goal in a career is to accomplish goals while also creating a mutually rewarding relationship with those you work with. Everyone in the business cycle including yourself, customers, and coworkers reaps great rewards when you value top-of-mind.