Being a valuable employee and attaining career success is more than just completing your daily to-do list. It’s also about taking pride in your work and going beyond what is required of you. Your efforts may not always be rewarded, but adding value as an employee could lead to more recognition in the workplace.
How to add value
Ashley Swanepoel, Managing Member of recruitment company Talent Desk, suggests the following ways to add value:
- Remember revenue: The primary objective in business is to keep expenses at a minimum and profits at a maximum. The most effective way to add value as an employee is to contribute towards the set objective in a meaningful way that allows you to stand out from your colleagues. Find ways to increase productivity and decrease running costs.
- Be service-centric: Offer the customer outstanding service that goes beyond simply being efficient. Customers are wowed by exceptional service and will probably make mention of your sterling performance to your boss. Take pride in your work and aim to be beyond excellent in everything you do.
- Be career confident: If you know you’re good at your job, be confident in this. Your assurance of your abilities will allow you to be more open to doing your job well. Employers feel more comfortable with staff who are able to be proactive and self-sufficient in their jobs. However, do not be arrogant, as this can have the opposite effect. Sincerity is paramount.
- Walk your talk: Follow through on projects to a successful end. Ask for more responsibility, volunteer to get involved in projects or even lead them, but be aware of your limits. Don’t make promises that are impossible to keep.
- Be a team player and support your colleagues. Remember that often the best results come from a dedicated team with a common focus; in business you can’t do it on your own. Aim to build strong, supportive work relationships with your team, earn their respect and be willing to mentor your juniors.
You may consistently perform at work, but sometimes your employers fail to recognise your efforts. “Be vocal in your participation at work – sitting back and letting others do all the talking will not be conducive to your standing out and being recognised,” says Swanepoel. “Share ideas in team meetings and with your manager one on one.”
If the recognition or rewards you seek are not forthcoming, re-evaluate your expectations. “Remember that recognition is not instant and you need to prove your ability and consistency before managers or employers will reward you accordingly,” says Swanepoel. If your efforts are continuously unnoticed, approach your boss and open the doors of communication. “Ask them directly what their expectations are for your growth within the business,” she says. “If you find yourself a few months later still feeling stuck in the same place and unfulfilled, then perhaps it’s time to explore new challenges.”