Sadly, most people I ask do not feel that they are valued in their job. They feel like a number or a widget on an assembly line. They feel they work hard but don’t get recognized for their effort.
My recommendation is to take charge of your career and figure it out!
In some instances, you will have a great boss who is a natural coach and mentor. They will pay attention to you and your performance and give you meaningful feedback. They will motivate and inspire you. They will tell you on a regular basis the impact of your efforts on the company.
If that’s not the case for you, then determine your own value and make sure it is recognized.
Workplaces are busy and many people have a heavy workload to get through. They either don’t know how or have no time to pay attention to you.
You’ve got to create your own visibility at work.
Understand the “Why”
Why does your role exist?
How does it contribute to the overall workflow?
How does it contribute to the company’s overall purpose, vision and culture?
How does it impact customers, profitability or employee engagement?
This is significant information to know and you will realize that you are not performing
a task in isolation. You will discover that you are contributing to something much bigger than yourself, especially if you are aligned with the company’s overall purpose.
For example: If your company has an environmental mandate and you have just automated your role to become paperless, you have contributed to the company’s bigger picture.
If your role provides information to someone else who is in a customer-facing job, then you would have contributed to customer satisfaction targets.
How do you know you’re successful in your role?
How does the company measure the results of your job? Customer satisfaction? Sales?
Know how the company measures success and conduct your own analysis of your performance.
Ask your boss about company metrics. Ask your co-workers how your efforts impact them and if they would like to see any changes. Make the changes. Follow up with them and monitor the results of your efforts.
Communicate in Results-oriented language
Decision makers and most managers speak this way. They are accountable for the results and the performance of their departments. Speak their language and they will pay attention.
Examples: I’d like to propose a change that will reduce costs. I am working on an initiative that will contribute to our customer experience. Last month, we brought in $XX above our sales target.
Every job adds value to a company. You may not be in a revenue-producing role, but that does not diminish the importance of what you do. You may be supporting someone else who is bringing in revenue. You may be supporting someone who is customer-facing and therefore helping with customer retention.
As an exercise, try writing down what you consider to be the value of your job to your company, then answer the questions above by yourself. Get additional input from your boss or others, then modify what you originally wrote.
You would have created your value proposition at work. Type it up and keep it close.
Believe in it and know that you do make a significant contribution to your company’s success.