The value you add is the real contribution you make to your organization's success. Performing the activities listed in your job description or your job specification is important and makes a contribution. However, your value-add moves beyond mere activities or tasks performed and illuminates, instead, the overall contributions you make to your organization's success.
Value-added activities or contributions most often produce measurable results for your company. These are things that make the company better, more profitable, and a nicer place to work.
What Does Value-Add Mean?
To use a physical comparison, value-add is the difference between a product's selling price and the cost of the materials used to produce it. In this example, the value-add is the combination of labor, machine investment, shipping and distribution, marketing, packaging, and more that add value so that a customer will purchase the raw materials that initially were the only product.
Activities and Accomplishments that Add Value
Value-add contributions include measurable roles and activities. These are examples of value-add activities and contributions with ways to carry them out:
Often people only think about making money, but saving money can be just as valuable, if not more so. While salespeople go out and make money, an HR person can add value by reducing turnover, which saves a fortune. An accountant can save money by implementing an internal audit that catches errors before they cause problems.
Lots of customers are customers of habit, and a competitor can break that habit by offering a sale or a nice perk. Awed customers don't let competitors in the door (or in the case of retail, don't go into the doors themselves). This is not just about meeting customer needs, it's going above and beyond to make sure the customer is satisfied.
This is the most obvious of the value-added activities. A company needs income to survive and selling something is how that happens. Increasing those sales, whether through a salesperson who is a smooth talker, or an engineer who develops a new product that practically sells itself, brings increased sales to the company and a clear indication of added value.
Reduced the Time or Steps to Complete a Work Process
Have you ever had a job where there was a long, tedious process to produce a monthly report? Everyone hates things like that. What if you could reduce the time needed to get this report done? What if you automated it? Everyone would sing your praises forever.
Benefits of Adding Value
Employees who have an identifiable, noteworthy value add impact on their organization are eligible for pay raises, promotions, recognition, and appreciation. When you ask your boss for a promotion or a pay raise, mention these value-added accomplishments specifically.
Don't just say, “I do a great job, and I am ready for a promotion.” Say, “I do a great job. For example, through my anti-bullying program, I've been able to reduce turnover in critical departments by 10 percent. This program has also increased employee morale, and made our company reviews on Glassdoor shine.” Take responsibility for the great things you do and the value you add to the company.
When you remind your boss of these accomplishments, your performance rating will skyrocket and your career will move onward and upward. When you are supposed to write your personal evaluation each year, these are the types of things you should list.
Enhancing Your Resume
When you write a resume, instead of listing tasks like, “produced a monthly report,” list the accomplishment, “Reduced the amount of time to complete monthly reports from two weeks to two hours by developing an automated process using Microsoft Access.” These are the employees that organizations most want to retain and recruit. When you list those things on your resume, you demonstrate the types of value you can add, and become someone whom people want to hire.