“Talent is scarce; understand your worth to the organisation. If you’re contributing and delivering on the commercial imprint to the organisation, you’re worth a huge amount. Your work/life balance has absolutely no bearing.”Michael Brunt, CMO of The Economist
One of the best ways to make your way up on the business ladder is to increase your worth as an employee within your company. We can’t deny the fact that workplace is always challenging and constantly demanding employees to work towards adding growth & value to a company or face the dreadful consequences of losing their position in an organisation.
If you’re like most people – 64%, according to Payscale’s “2016 Compensation Best Practices Report” – you feel like you aren’t being paid fairly. Yet, the same study found that 73% of employers feel like their employee compensation is up to snuff.
Why is there such a difference in perception?
It may lie in how each is measuring worth, says football analyst and former Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask, author of “You Negotiate Like a Girl: Reflections on a Career in the National Football League.” Once the highest-ranking woman executive in the National Football League (NFL), Trask is no stranger to negotiating for herself and measuring the worth of those on her team. “Ultimately, when a business is looking at any employee, it really is a cost-benefit analysis. Is that employee’s value to his or her organisation equal or greater than his or her cost, or does the organisation believe his or her value will ultimately be, over time, equal to or greater than his cost?” she says.
“If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.”Anonymous
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To what degree are you irreplaceable?
Ashlee Vance shared the story of how Elon Musk stopped working with his longtime executive assistant in early 2014, in his 2015 book “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.”
According to Vance, the assistant, Mary Beth Brown, asked Musk for a significant raise after she’d been working with him for 12 years. In response, Musk told Brown to take two weeks off, during which he would assume her responsibilities and see whether she was critical to his success.
When Brown returned, Musk told her he didn’t need her anymore. “Mary Beth was an amazing assistant for over 10 yrs, but as company complexity grew, the role required several specialists vs one generalist.” Musk said. This example is pretty extreme, but it’s a solid lesson in knowing what you’re worth to your organisation.
According to Business Insider, Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of – Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job – shared a few strategies for assessing your value – before someone else does it for you – and boosting it.
First, you’ll want to do an “audit” of your responsibilities. Take 15 minutes one day to think about what exactly you’re working on. “Could a temp do what you’re doing and keep your boss happy?” Taylor said. If the answer is yes, or even maybe, you might need to step up your game.
Above all, “you want to make your boss need you – not just have you on board.” So consider what makes your boss successful and how can you align yourself with that, she said. Some people call it “managing up” – it’s about figuring out how you can make your boss look good to their boss. In short, learn to be irreplaceable.
How culturally fitare you in your organisation?
At Zappos, Tony Hsieh hires for cultural fit. No matter how great candidates are or how much of an impact they might make on the bottom line – if they don’t fit, they’re out.
“If you get the culture right then most of the other stuff will happen naturally,” says Hsieh.
“I think that one hire won’t necessarily bring the company culture downhill, but if you keep making compromises like that over and over and over again, I think that’s why most large companies don’t have great cultures.”
“Productivity is never an accident. Its the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.”Paul Meyer
Are you meeting expectations?
Before you start trying to expand your horizons, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re at least fulfilling the minimum requirements of your role. A recent Gallup poll revealed that up to half of employees don’t really understand what is expected of them at work. Have a discussion about what workplace success looks like. You might even ask how your position adds value to the company. This gives you a target for increasing your value later on.
Areas to Excel
You should determine a list of projects which could add extra value to the company that fall within the scope of your job. It’s important to choose these projects in conjunction with your manager because you need to be sure that when you go above and beyond, it’s in areas that your company finds important. It’s helpful at this stage to come up with a way to document your performance.
Make a Plan and Execute It
Finally, you need to put everything you’ve learned into action. If your goal is to increase your compensation at work, you can start by deciding how much more you would like to be making. Take your current job expectations and salary as the baseline for what you’re worth to the company. Then realise that for every $1 that you hope to get in increased pay, you need to bring in $3-5 to the business for your raise to make sense.
The bottom line is that you want to make yourself an integral part of the company’s success. “No one is indispensable. It’s just to what degree are you harder to replace.” So, what’s your worth in your company?