How to Make Yourself Indispensable to Any Organization
Companies large and small, spanning nearly all industries, are consistently looking for viable strategies to boost profitability. In recent years, a focus on improving productivity within workforces has taken place to meet this end. Both employers and employees recognize the importance of adding valuable contributions to the company, but individuals may not always know the best route to accomplish this task. Making yourself indispensable to any organization you work for lays the groundwork for a promising career trajectory, as well as other tangible and intangible benefits of which many employees are unaware. Here’s how to solidify your place in your organization by making yourself irreplaceable.
How to Increase Your Value as an Employee
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), organizations seek out individuals to join their team who possess specific traits, internal motivation, and an ability to add value to the company overall. These attributes often revolve around high productivity, a willingness to put in extra time, having a passion for the work, offering creative insights, and displaying leadership capabilities.
Be More Productive
It should come as no surprise that organizations want a productive workforce. To be able to achieve corporate goals consistently over time, productivity among employees needs to be as high as possible. As an employee, being productive requires focus and attention on the job at hand, as well as a willingness to contribute to the company’s missions. Here are a few ways to increase your productivity each day.
- Get (and Stay) Organized – being more productive starts with organization. Whether that means tidying up paperwork or computer files, an organized workspace often leads to a more focused workday. Not only do you know what needs to be done and where to find the resources you need to accomplish your tasks, organized spaces are known to improve your mood.
- Minimize Distractions – distractions are everywhere, including that smartphone you check every few minutes. Be sure to minimize the distractions that can take you away from the task at hand. Close unnecessary browser windows, leave the phone in your desk drawer, and shut down or pause e-mail when working through a priority assignment.
- Focus on Valuable Tasks – prioritizing your work can also make you more productive. Put your attention on high-value tasks first so there is little potential to miss important deadlines.
- Separate Work and Personal Life – many employees bring their personal life into the job each day but working to separate the two helps with productivity over time.
Be Willing to Put in Extra Time
In addition to being more productive, companies want employees that are willing and able to put in the extra time when it's needed. In some cases, there are time-sensitive projects or assignments that need to be done in a hurry, but it means staying later or coming in earlier than the norm. If you want to add value as an employee, be willing to accept a little extra work during off hours every now and again.
Love What You Do
Having a passion for the work you do each day is crucial to being a motivated, productive part of the team. No, it is not possible to love every minute of every day, but focus on what you appreciate about your job and let that guide your mood and energy during the week. If you don’t like what you do, it’s likely to be noticed by others, and that can lower your value to the organization.
Be Creative when Coming Up With Solutions
Creativity is often a lost art in the corporate world. Employees are more focused on completing the work assigned to them efficiently and on-time. While these aspects of work are important, you can add incredible value when creative minds contribute to the organization. If you’re tasked with solving a business problem, think outside the box when coming up with potential answers. Organizations want employees who are able to offer unique insight into business challenges.
Establish Yourself as a Leader
Above and beyond creativity, productivity, and passion, many organizations cite a need for leadership in their ranks of employees. Leadership traits come in many different forms, but tackling this value-add strategy can be as simple as offering to take the reigns for a group project or unsolved business problem. Taking the initiative without being assigned a specific task is often looked upon as a positive characteristic, and employers take note for when they have a leadership role to fill in the future.
Why You Should Care
Offering more value to your employer through the strategies above is not solely for the purpose of improving the organization’s bottom line. It has a direct impact on your life in both the short- and long-term. Here are several reasons why it matters to your bottom line:
Earning a Paycheck: Showing your value as an employee gives you more of an opportunity to earn a steady paycheck. The talent pool is large and highly competitive, but if you are consistent at delivering value, your employer is likely to keep you on the payroll.
Benefits: Many employers offer benefits that ease your cost burden each month. From healthcare subsidies and 401(k) matching to a newer benefit of student loan repayment assistance, employer benefits can add up to a significant amount of compensation over time. There are also other benefits offered by some companies that add to your quality of life. Adding value as an employer ensures you receive these perks.
Career Trajectory: The most valuable employees are often the ones given opportunities to move forward in their positions. Being productive, offering creative input, and showing passion for what you do all lend to promotion possibilities. Moving up the job ladder early and often helps substantially increase your total earnings over time.
By Andrew Rombach, a Content Associate from LendEDU – a consumer education and financial product marketplace. He’s learned quite a bit about workplace productivity and how to create value after working in a small business setting for the past couple years.