The Best You…

“Don’t tell me what you did,” said a recruiter participating on a recent panel that I attended.  “Tell me the value you provided your employer.  Tell me how you made a difference.”   As I sat there listening to this exchange it occurred to me that the language being used to define success in the work world is slowly and quietly shifting from performance to value.   ‘Value creation‘ is everywhere.  Am I the only one hearing it?

Read on and please welcome guest blogger and former colleague of mine, Ed Evarts.

If you’re in the work world you already know that the world is changing exponentially.  Head-spinning advances in technology, endless bottom-line financial pressures, growing networks of global relationships, and changing workplace demographics are dominating your workplace experience.

Amidst this change you get up each morning with every intent of being the “best you.”   Does your employer know what the “best you” looks like?

Or maybe an inability to see the “best you” was a trigger for your transition.  Let’s face it the “best you” isn’t only relevant in the work world.    Dare I say that it is the common denominator for all worlds.

If you are in the work world do you wonder how employers assess the “best you?”  In all likelihood, to evaluate the “best you,” your organization has created a performance management system to evaluate your performance.  Maybe you’ve lived this cycle… the rush to complete the appraisals en masse the Sunday night before they’re due.  Sound familiar?

The times, however, are changing.  Employers from across the globe are tiring of this aging method for measuring and communicating performance.  If performance management systems were a currency, they would be downgraded to a point of worthlessness.

The words are archaic; the numbers are impersonal.  I have never met anyone (and this is not an exaggeration) who enjoys writing a performance appraisal.  Like the beautiful, sandy shores of Chatham, Massachusetts, these programs are slowly eroding with the passage of time.

Erosion, Chatham, Ma

Erosion, Chatham, Ma

What can replace the void that is being creating by the slow demise of performance management systems?

Value.   Value recognizes good performance, ties good performance to business objectives, and creates a new way to motivate employees and align them with business goals and market metrics.

Ever heard of a question that changes everything?  Consider having the following conversation with your boss at your next meeting:

“Thank you for the exceeds expectation I received on my last appraisal. I really  appreciate your support and confidence in me.  I would like to engage you in a conversation that is a little different.  Can we discuss the value that I provide our organization?”

No doubt this question requires some courage.  After all, you have no idea how your boss will answer.  Since this is not a question being asked in corporations across the globe, you boss may not know how to respond.  That is okay.  Tell your boss that if she does not know the answer, you can work on it together.

The goal is to grow your impact and influence in your organization by identifying and being able to articulate the value you provide.  Sound easy?

With a simple question, you exit the confines created by performance management.  You enter the exciting world of value creation.  Everything changes.    

Learn more about Ed.

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