If you feel like you deserve a promotion or a raise, what are you doing to show your supervisor your value as an employee?
What is value? Let’s get really clear. Value in the workplace is not the same thing as the number of years you’ve been on the job. While there is a lot of value in experience, values comes from showing you are growing and learning and taking on more responsibility.
Are you positioning yourself so you can help the company succeed in the future? Value really isn’t about time. It’s what you do in the hours you are in the office that count. Think of yourself as a company asset or investment. How are you showing your supervisor their return on investment – ie your raise or promotion? The best way to prove you are adding value is by performing your current duties exceptionally, exceeding the expectations of the job, looking for ways you could do more, and executing a plan in a way that gives your boss a reason to take notice.
I was a recent guest of Brenda Meller on Social Media P.I.E., her LinkedIn Live show talking about this very topic….communicating your worth in the workplace. If you feel you deserve a raise, don’t just sit around complaining to co-workers about how you’re mistreated, take a long hard look at your work performance and develop a plan you’ll use to make your case to y our supervisor. You can check out our conversation below, but first, here’s 8 strategies you can use to showcase your value in the workplace.
- Become a positive brand ambassador. First, make sure you aren’t sharing any proprietary information and then post about positive happenings in your organization. Focus primarily on the team’s success, rather than your own. The voice of ambition may be tell you sharing your own success is the way to go but senior leadership notices those who work collaboratively and support others. They know the value of a team working well together. It’s easy to notice someone who gives their time and advice to help make others successful. So save the self-promotion brag for the really big wins.
- NEVER stop learning. Even if you have to invest time outside of the office in learning skills that will help you grow and contribute to the company it’s something important you should do. This could mean taking courses that support the work you are doing, or reading texts in the areas you want to master. There are so many online opportunities available, many of them low cost or free, that it’s a great way to show your supervisor you’re invested in being a part of the company success by staying current and relevant. Plus, it never hurts when you enter a discussion about a raise or promotion, when you can show you’ve been proactively working on skills that make you an even stronger member of the team. Check out professional certification opportunities as well. Watch trends in your industries and see where the field is headed. See what skills your co-workers are learning. You can even ask your boss (and boss’s boss) if they can recommend any books.
- Track your successes. Not only can you use these to beef up your experience section on your online profile, it’s also great information to have with you when you have your annual review especially if you Make sure you can quantify your success. Numbers help hiring managers and supervisors see precisely how you’ve added value to a company. I use my planner to jot down my wins for the week and quarters. Some of you might prefer a digital method of tracking your wins like building an Excel spreadsheet. Then each year, I update my resume and profiles with the really significant ones. This not only prepares you for the review, it keeps you prepared for any opportunities that might come along in the future. It’s important you know your numbers and take ownership of your work. These numbers do not have to relate to profitability. Instead, they might refer to time saved, costs reduced, or processes improved. Make note of awards you’ve received. Mentioning any awards or other forms of recognition you received at work also shows that your employer recognized your importance to the company and is something important to update your online profile with because it lets others in your industry see value as well.
- Character matters. Admit mistakes. One of the strongest ways an employee can show her worth is by owning up to mistakes. Everyone makes them, but the difference is how you deal with them moving forward. Let your boss know when you’ve made a mistake, and show them you have a plan to handle it and avoid a similar situation in the future. Don’t forget to apologize, but only once—there’s no need to dwell on the error. This also means taking full responsibility for your failures. Adopt a “no excuses” mentality. Don’t blame the mistake on others, or throw them under the bus. You want to show leadership, not irresponsibility or a lack of accountability. Do what you say . When opportunities arise, bosses look for people with a good track record of getting the job done and bringing in positive results. Start by taking on small projects and hit a home run. Then watch as more opportunities come your way.
- Learn to think strategically. Being a strategic thinker is imperative if you want to move up in the workplace. When you think strategically, you are identifying opportunities that will help the organization reach its larger goals. You have to learn to see the big picture.. This is a skill that doesn’t always come naturally. If you want to get good at strategic thinking you have to practice. . The more you work on it, the better you’ll get. One way to start is by watching industry trends and discuss them with your supervisor. Your boss will see that you are interested in the future of the organization and you’ll learn how external things could impact its success.
- Improve your communication skills. Whether you are giving a presentation, working on a group project, or having a difficult conversation with your boss, it’s important to know your audience and prepare how you will communicate with them in advance. Every person and situation is different — so learn to be adaptable and know how to adjust. Learn how different segments of the population and workforce prefer to be communicated with and adjust your style as needed. Practice good grammar in all written communications. And finally, it’s always a good idea to follow up with others and make sure you clearly understand their expectations or that you understand their instructions too.
- Build relationships with people throughout the company and in your industry. Yes, networking internally is just as important as externally, especially if you are interested in a promotion. Don’t just stay within your “wing” of the building. At conferences or chamber events, look for new people to meet and connect with. Look for opportunities to collaborate with other key players in your organization. When you build connections, you expand your network of allies and increase your visibility and influence. Great leaders don’t just wait to be asked, they put themselves in positions and situations where they’re more likely to be asked. When you work collaboratively and cross-departmentally, your name will keep coming up for all the right reasons.
- Finally, raise your hand and don’t be afraid to ask for opportunities to show your skills and talents. There’s an area on your profile where you can actually show off what you are good at and get others to endorse you. Showing initiative is always a good thing. If you see an area where you believe you can be an asset to the company and support strategic initiatives, ask to participate. Be ready to explain why you believe you can make a valuable contribution, as well as what you will gain from the opportunity. Sometimes you’ve got to identify where you can provide value and ask for it.
During my chat with Brenda, we dive deeper into a few of these strategies. Take a listen and see which ones you can start using today.
There is no short path to getting noticed. But you can speed up the process by effectively creating your personal career brand and learn how to use it to showcase your value in the workplace.
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