How do you provide value at work?


(Short comment from me: I needed to re-post this as I managed to delete it, do not ask me how…)
I can’t say it too often. You are hired to provide value at work. You are not hired to make money or to have an relaxing life. You are hired because the top management can’t make all the money by them selves. So here is the deal. I will pay you to make more money for me. At least make more value than I invest in you. That is the basic reason why anyone hire anybody.

So this brings me to how you can provide value at work.
I do believe that most people like to work hard, feel appreciated and they like to feel like a part of something bigger. The problem is that you will not be part of anything unless you give something in return. I have two small illustrations that I use over and over again when I try to make people understand how to provide value at work.


As you can see from this illustration even doing a good job, might not provide value to the company, or growth for you and your fellow co-workers. A lot of people work in this way today. “I won’t work harder until I get more pay”. “I do a lot more around here than Pete, why is he making more money?” “Finally five of clock. I am going home” – Sorry lads, I am not impressed.

How to really make a difference
So what is a hard working Homo Cubicle Sapiens need to do around here to get some attention? To be adding some value you need to add and share. Take a look at the illustration below


You need to refuel with new knowledge, new abilities and skills, you need to get inspiration from somewhere. You need to insert some goals into your “mind-drive”. When you have learned something you will be able to do one of the most meaningful things in the world, you can share and teach others. You can mentor, you can inspire. You have the power to influence other people. Imagine that you learn how to motivate people to increase productivity, and you increase productivity 5 % among all your 20-40 co-workers? You can produce 10 % less, and still make more money for the company because you increase the productivity among the others. That is why Pete gets more pay than you. Yes he completes less tasks, but he makes everybody else produce more. And when you do share, teach, inspire and want to make the best out of people, you suddenly care about others.

The best way to lose weight is to help other people lose weight. You might fail to diet on your own, but if you decide to help someone else diet, you will feel more committed. You will more likely succeed. At work it is just as simple, become an engaged employee, help others and experience that you will start to love your job.

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9 Comments on "How do you provide value at work?"

  1. Deependra Gupta | November 15, 2010 at 11:58 am |

    Hi Frode,

    I really appreciate your style. The way you have explained everything is commendable. Looking forward to read some more interesting stuff from you.

  2. Frode Heimen | August 10, 2009 at 7:27 pm |

    Hi Kyle.
    Thank you for yet a great comment. For all employees anywhere reading this. Learn from Kyle, submit fully developed ideas that are easy to implement! Do not submit only the problem unless having a suggestion at least for a solution.

    @Gina, You, Kyle and me, we agree 🙂 – And good point to evaluate roles once in a while.

    Keep reading great friends.

  3. Kyle – great point made. I seen many organizations that have had a specific role/title for many years that frankly is no longer necessary or of value to the organization. But…as you noted, nothing is done about it. Seems it may make sense for a company on some regular basis (maybe every few years – possibly during strategic planning sessions) – to re-evaluate the roles within the organization to see the value they are still adding and change them up a bit if necessary. And I agree…I’m not saying to eliminate good people – I agree with Kyle – re-assign them where they can add value to the organization.

  4. Howdy Frode,

    I’d have to say, your quote at the top, “I will pay you to make more money for me” really summarizes all of this in a single sentence. I think too many people get wrapped up in the “well, we’ve always had a (insert job title here)” and don’t actually give any thought to the “why.” As in, “why that position was created” to begin with.

    I mean, in all honesty, if a position provides less value than its salary justifies, then it should be eliminated. That doesn’t mean though that the person (assuming that they are a good person) should be eliminated though. They should just be re-assigned to another position where they can provide more value.

    Something I personally like to do to add more value is to submit good ideas. However, I always ensure that any idea that I submit is a fully developed idea that I firmly believe will solve a problem or will add value to the organization. I also always include an executive summary and a detailed proposal. That way, assuming it is accepted, it will be easy to implement.

    Enjoyed the post, and I digg the graphics.


  5. Frode Heimen | August 9, 2009 at 6:52 am |

    Hi Clement.
    The circle is an employee, arrows pointing into the circle is input, needs or wants. Arrows pointing out of the circle is output, or what the person is giving back.

    I usually start by asking who do you want to be as an employee at our company. Then I start drawing the arrows of the first figure. And I ask would you be happy doing this? Most people would say no, some will say yes (Until you draw the second circle). At the end I draw the red and green arrow. And they get it fast. People do want to feel important and they want to contribute. This is telling them how to do just that. If you combine this with telling them about the big picture, you will end up with motivated employees.

  6. Clement Geferts | August 9, 2009 at 2:19 am |

    Hi Frode

    I really like this post i really agree with you. I also like the images, i only have one question though.
    How can i explain the images to my personell?


  7. Frode Heimen | August 8, 2009 at 7:11 pm |

    I am currently reading a book and in this book there is a story about the first man in America that gets more than $1.000.000 salary per year. It was not for his technical or practical skills, but because he made all other people better at doing their job.

    These graphics is something I draw on my white board at work all the time, trying to motivate employees to become great.

    Gina and Steve, I almost lost this post and your comments today due to my urge to try new snippets, widgets, programs and such, resulting in my latest blog post deleting this one. I am grateful for good backup routines, and I found your much apreciated comments and got them back to my blog again. Thank you for always contributing at my blog 🙂

  8. Frode,

    These graphics are excellent.

    The other part of the equation involves the managers who are in the best position to openly acknowledge the value that is being added and can help employees understand areas that are most important for contribution.

  9. I find a great way to provide value is to have a flexible, positive and “can do” attitude. Flexible in that you do whatever you need to do to get the job done, with a smile on your face. Individuals who pitch in across the organization and across functional areas provide incredible value to the organization and also stand out as the people you want in your organization. Those are the individuals who get ahead.

    By the way – loved your graphics! Perfect!


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