What’s the key to getting promoted, making more money, and climbing the corporate ladder at your company? There’s one thing you should focus on that can make that happen. That “thing” is adding value at work.
In this post, we’ll discuss why adding value is important, 6 ways to add value, and a bonus tip on what to do once you start implementing the 6 methods.
Why Adding Value is Important
Why would you want to add value at work? Well, as we’ve alluded to, value can be the key to getting a new promotion, getting a raise, landing a new job, and creating opportunities for yourself.
Value is what you bring to the table. It’s what you add to the team and to the company. To even get hired for a position, there’s a certain level of value you have to have. The combination of your knowledge, skills, and experience help you get the job.
As you work, if you start exceeding that value and start exceeding what your job description originally required, that’s when good things are going to start happening for you.
In general, your boss and employer want to keep people on the team that add value. If you add value to them, you add value to the company, and you add value to the shareholders (owners of the company).
Fundamentally, the purpose of any company’s management team is to increase the value of the company and thus increase the value of the shareholders’ earnings.
So if you are consistently adding value and solving problems, people are going to notice. To help keep you at the company, they are going to promote you and pay you. If they didn’t, you’d be incentivized to leave the company for another one that will pay you your worth.
6 Ways To Add Value
Let’s get into how you can add value at work. I’m going to share 6 ways you can do this.
1. Increase revenues and/or decrease expenses
The first one is the most obvious and impactful way to add value, which is to find a way to increase revenues and/or decrease costs.
One of my mentors in a previous position told me, “If you want to get promoted, you need to learn how to make the company more money.”
If you find a way to make the company more profit, you are going to be sitting pretty. But depending on the company you are in, you may or may not have the opportunity to have a direct impact on revenue and profit.
Don’t worry, there are several other ways you can provide value!
2. Improve processes and efficiencies
The second way to add value is to improve processes and efficiencies.
Say you go in every day and you grab data from a variety of teams within the company. You take that data and build a report that has historically taken 5 hours to build. If you find a way to cut that down to 3 hours, you’re increasing efficiencies.
Now time can be allocated to other tasks and your boss will appreciate this.
Improving processes and efficiencies indirectly increases company profit. When things are more efficient, teams are more productive. And when teams are more productive, the company can do more per unit of time, which ultimately leads to more profit.
So look at your day-to-day tasks or the day-to-day tasks of others on your team. Look for ways that things can be improved.
Could something be done faster? Could something be done more accurately? Could something new be added to a process, or would it be better if something was stripped out and eliminated?
3. Take workload off your boss
Another way to add value and get on your boss’s good side is to take workload off them. There are two ways you can do this that come to mind.
First, you can do your work so effectively that your boss doesn’t have to worry about you because they know you are going to deliver.
Typically, bosses spend a significant amount of time checking your work for completion and accuracy and teaching you along the way. If you perform your duties at a high level, your boss will let you operate with more autonomy because they know what to expect from you.
Alternatively, you can take workload off your boss by actually doing some of the work they are usually occupied with.
Imagine that your boss has to build presentations to present to higher levels of management. If you have the competence and confidence to build those presentations yourself, you could offer that to your boss. They may or may not let you completely do it, but even if you do half of it for them, that’s still a huge help.
4. Reducing people’s stress and headache
Outside of actual workload, the fourth way you can add value is to reduce the stress and headache of those around you.
In the workplace, everyone always seems stressed and busy with something. If you can lend a hand in reducing that, people are going to want to keep you around because you are an asset to the team.
Look for ways to lend a helping hand when you can. You’ll look good, build relationships, and the colleagues you help will likely return the favor to you at some point.
5. Be uplifting to the office
The fifth way to add value piggybacks off of tip 4. The energy you bring to the office and the atmosphere you help create can be a huge relief to those around you. Create value by being uplifting.
The sad reality is that most people are dissatisfied with their job. The thing the can further that dissatisfaction is when there is a bad seed in the office.
These types of people are negative, selfish, confrontational, or lazy.
Avoid being any of those things and be someone that others in the office look forward to interacting with. Ultimately, people want to work with people they like being around.
6. Connect people around the company with each other
Finally, if you have excellent people skills and networking comes naturally to you, you can add value at work by connecting certain people in the company with each other for the betterment of the company.
Imagine you are talking to someone from the corporate finance team that is having trouble with certain projections for the marketing department.
If you know a few people from the marketing department well, you can connect the two people together to solve the issue. Your time and effort will be appreciated and hopefully your colleagues will share some praise with your boss.
BONUS: Document the Value You Add
Here’s a bonus tip!
As the weeks go by and you’re starting to add value, keep a spreadsheet or a journal and document the value you add.
Why would you do this? Well, this will come in handy when you want to ask for a raise. Plus, it would be helpful to bring it out during your annual employee review, where you can also ask for a raise.
If you can, you want to try to quantify this value. For example, if you improved a process that resulted in cost savings, try to estimate what those cost savings were.
Imagine that you work at Apple and you identify a way to decrease costs of production of the iPhone by $0.01 per phone.
If you know you the company is saving 1 cent per unit, you could do some research and see that Apple sold 200 million phones in 2020. 200 million phones multiplied by 1 cent saves the company $2 million dollars! That’s quantifiable value.
Or, imagine that you reduced your boss’s stress and headache by doing something for them that took them 1 hour a day.
Imagine that your boss makes a salary of $150,000 a year, which works out to about $75 an hour. If you save them an hour a day, 5 hours a week, for 52 weeks, that saves the company $19,500 that would have been wasted away if you weren’t solving problems.
Now your boss can use that extra time to do other important things.
These are two ways you can quantify the value you bring. When you go in one day to ask for a raise, your case is going to be a lot stronger when you have evidence of what you’ve done.
Going through the motions won’t accelerate your career. To climb the corporate ladder, you need to focus on adding value.
You can add value in a variety of ways from impacting profit, to improving processes, to using your people skills. As you add value, document what you have done so you have evidence and data of your impact.
This will help you build a strong case when you eventually ask for a raise or promotion.