6 Ways to Add Value to Your Organization & Advance Your Career

6 Ways to Add Value to Your Organization _ Advance Your Career

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When it comes to career advancement, the biggest question has to do with your value to
the organization. What are you doing to contribute to the bottom line? Remember, as an
employee, you’re an investment. Your company pays you a salary and they expect a return.
The more value you contribute, the better the investment and the more likely they are to
continue investing in the future—and potentially invest in a bigger way. That means raises,
promotions and job security for you.

Your actions in the workplace have an impact, whether you realize it or not. The more you
can create measurable, positive, powerful outcomes through your actions, the more people
will sit up and take notice. The more they’ll want to keep you happy and acknowledge you
for your efforts.

While your job description may appear to be a list of tasks, those tasks are designed to
achieve specific, valuable outcomes for the company. How you do them influences the
amount of value the company receives—and thus, the level of value you’re contributing and
your overall worth to the organization.

Take for example an administrative professional whose role it is to purchase office supplies.
Sure, this person could simply follow the standard procedure, place orders for items
requested from approved vendors, and ensure the purchased products are received. Or, she
could find simple ways to improve her value like…

  • Researching vendors to find more competitive pricing and making informed recommendations to decision-makers.
  • Aggressively negotiating with existing vendors for better pricing.
  • Creating an “office supply sharing” program between departments so inventory doesn’t pile up in one area while another is always in need.
  • Purchasing in bulk when appropriate to increase savings.
  • Strategically purchasing to take advantage of sales, rebates and discounts.
  • Offering tips to help staff members reduce waste of supply inventory, and perhaps starting some kind of competition or reward system to inspire participation.

These value-add tactics aren’t defined anywhere in the job description. It takes a few extra
seconds of thought and a little imagination, but using these strategies, this admin could save
her company thousands of dollars per year.

I know some of you may look at this and say, “I can’t do that stuff! It’s outside my scope of
responsibility.” I hear you. You’re already busy and these things take time. Perhaps you fear
others will think you’re overstepping your boundaries. I say…RISK IT. Give it try. Find a few

minutes here or there to step up your game in the value department. If you achieve positive
results, no one will complain.

And think about it: If this admin tracks her cost-saving initiatives and measures the positive
results, she could certainly make a compelling case for a raise in the future. If her actions
have a positive impact on the organization’s bottom line, her value is higher than that of her
peers who are simply going through the motions status quo. Every dollar her company
chooses to spend employing therefore becomes a superior investment.

Plus, these kinds of things also make this admin a more marketable, competitive asset when
searching for a new job. Imagine a resume full of value-add accomplishments like this. Who
wouldn’t want to hire someone who not only understands the value of her role but also
knows how to increase that value? Who wouldn’t be willing to pay a little more for an
employee like that?

Surely you get my drift by now, so let’s move on. I have identified six clear ways to add-value
to your organization:

  • Save money
  • Make money
  • Improve efficiency of a process or procedure
  • Improve quality of a product or service
  • Fix an existing problem
  • Prevent a future problem

With every task you take on, ask yourself: How can I add value to this? And every time you
achieve one of these value-add outcomes, measure the results and write them down. How
much money did you save or earn? How much did efficiency or quality improve? What is the
long-term impact of fixing or preventing that problem? The information you gather will be
critically important in future performance reviews or when writing your next resume.

I’m willing to bet that some of you already do a lot of value-add kinds of things already,
without really even noticing. Hopefully this article has helped you understand a little more
how to leverage these things you’re doing to get more rewards and recognition for the work
you do.

How do you Add Value?

Understanding How You Contribute to the Bottom line

You were hired to achieve results. These results must contribute to the bottom line. If they
don’t – directly or indirectly – then how can your company justify paying you?

Just because you’ve been with an organisation for a long time, or you don’t make mistakes, this
doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re adding real value. To add value, you need to make a
significant positive impact on your organisation’s success, and, for most companies, this success
translates to profitability.

Some organisations, especially in the not-for-profit sector and in government, measure success
in other ways. Success may include things like helping people or improving the environment.
Here, to add value and prove your worth, you must focus on the way your organisation measures

Why is Value Important?

Life at work can be unstable, so thinking about the value you add is perhaps one of the most
important things you can do. Experience is important, as are loyalty, dedication, and a strong
work ethic; but none of these alone is enough to ensure that you continue to be employed in the
future: after all, you can work long and hard at counting paperclips – but unless counting
paperclips somehow adds to your organisation’s bottom line, all of that effort is likely to go

So, keeping your job is a key reason why you should be concerned about adding value. Particularly
now, organisations need to be lean and efficient, so make sure that what you’re doing creates
value. And if it doesn’t, figure out what you can do to contribute more directly to your
organisation’s success, and do this urgently!

When you assess your job in terms of adding value, you also gain a better appreciation of your
real priorities, meaning that you spend as much time as possible on daily activities that contribute
directly to the bottom line. With this valuable knowledge, you can set goals and prioritise with
much greater efficiency.

Determining Your Value-Added Contributions

Adding value to your organisation’s bottom line is both simple and complex. Essentially, you can
do two things to do this:

  1. Increase revenue.
  2. Decrease cost.

You have a responsibility to contribute to the bottom line, because this is what allows you to get
paid. Developing an awareness and desire to help your organisation run as efficiently as possible
is key to your long-term success.

For salespeople, it’s relatively simple to measure how their work translates to financial success –
but for others, it’s not so clear. So, even if your work is far removed from directly generating
revenue or decreasing costs, you should have a profit-and-loss outlook.
Start by analysing your job description. What is your job’s overall purpose? State this purpose in
a way that relates to an element of the bottom line.

A project manager’s purpose might be to bring projects to successful completion on time and on
budget. The relationship to the bottom line is obvious. However, a receptionist might struggle to
find that relationship. On the surface, the receptionist’s purpose might be to answer phones and
to receive and direct inquiries – neither of these shows “why” the receptionist position is
important to organisational success. But if you state the purpose as “To receive and direct
inquires, enabling staff to respond to customers in a timely manner and improve overall service,”
then the connection to the bottom line is easier to see. If the receptionist doesn’t perform well,
efficiency and service will suffer.

Once you link your purpose to the bottom line, evaluate all of your activities to determine their
value potential. Focus on the activities that have the most direct connection to profitability: these
are the activities you need to support and promote. Think about how you can complete these
activities and add more value, and make sure that the people around you – and the people you
report to – understand how valuable your work is!

Also, consider this job’s impact on cost control: if products are improperly packed and there’s
spoilage or breakage, replacements must be sent, thus increasing costs. If orders are filled
inaccurately, goods are returned and costs increase as a result of restocking items, and then
shipping the correct ones. And if orders are mismanaged, this will lead to customer dissatisfaction
and a loss of revenue.

EG: When a warehouse manager focuses on order accuracy, his or her value increases because
waste – cost – reduces.


Determine your approximate hourly cost to your company. It’s usually a lot higher than you
imagine, particularly once you include payroll taxes, office space, and equipment costs! Knowing
this actual figure can really help you focus on value-adding priorities.

Key Points

There are often many ways that you can add value within your organisation.

Start by thinking about profit and loss, regardless of your position, and question the value you
add on a regular basis. Don’t assume that merely showing up for work and doing what’s expected
will be enough to secure your success: with cutbacks or restructuring, you need to show that your
work is well worth your compensation.

By taking a financially responsible approach to your work, you’ll feel much more confident about
your position and purpose.