It can be difficult to understand how well you’re performing at work at the best of times. It might be even harder in these times if you’re working from home without regular face-to-face feedback from your manager and colleagues. Yet quantifying your value is key to self-advocacy in your workplace, building your confidence and positioning yourself for new job or career opportunities.
Here are a few techniques that can help you to measure your contribution and demonstrate the value you are creating.
- Quantify your contributions
People in sales roles are already used to speaking about their value to the business in terms of quotas and sales targets achieved over periods of time. If you are not in a role that is directly about generating revenue or managing costs, it might seem harder to quantify your value.
However, there will be many appropriate metrics you can use: productivity measures like how your new filing system saves each person in the office two hours a week; how the new Q&A document you put on the website deflected a hundred calls a week from the call centre; or how your project management methodology allowed the company to reach a software milestone three months sooner.
Here’s how to choose metrics:
- They should be meaningful and easy to measure month-to-month or week-to-week.
- They should align with the top goals of your organisation or team.
- Aim for impact rather than vanity. For example, it’s useful to measure leads generated, but even more so to demonstrate that they are high-value leads with quality clients.
- Keep track of your successes and achievements
A working day can rush past in a blur of deadlines, conference calls and fires that need to be extinguished. Keeping track of the value you’ve delivered over a quarter or a year can be difficult when you’re focused on the minute-to-minute. It can help to capture what you’ve accomplished each week on a spreadsheet or Word document, whether that’s generating 15 leads, sending out 100 emails or successfully closing a dozen support calls.
- Align with the company’s metrics
Most medium-sized and large companies will have key performance indicators (KPIs) by which they measure success. These will include business metrics such as sales or profitability, as well as performance measurements meant to align your goals to the organisation’s goals. It’s important to keep the KPIs that will come up in your performance review in mind as you track your successes throughout the year.
- Think in terms of ‘intensive’ and ‘extensive’ value
Author Robert Greene talks about intensive and extensive value. Intensive value comes from mastering a specific skill, such as graphic design or coding. Extensive value is generated through relationships with others—for example, helping to coordinate projects or connecting people to each other. It can be a helpful way to position and frame your contributions—are you the technical expert in cloud or big data or the person who can marshal the resources to drive the success of a big transformation programme?
- Shape a story out of the facts and numbers
The metrics you use to measure your contribution should be consistent and tell a story over time. Identify where your accomplishments are making an impact for the business, and then create a narrative that shows how you are building value over time.
Managing what you measure
As Peter Drucker’s most famous axiom states: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Quantifying your value at work can help you to keep improving your performance, demonstrate your value, and build an even more successful career over the longer term.
[Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash]