How to be the most valuable employee. This article specifies 3 important ways to be a highly valuable employee or team player anywhere, anytime!
The Leader Needs Valuable Employees and Team Members!
I recall the story of the current governor of Lagos state; Mr Babajide Sanwoolu who cried out publicly that he had lost about 10kg weight just after a week in office as the governor (The Punch; 7th June 2019). The comment was based on the background of the huge demands of the office.
The question many people asked was didn’t he know that work pressures were involved with the job, while desiring and campaigning for the office? In fact several other people quickly dismissed the statement, calling the man managing Africa’s largest city and 6th largest economy, a ‘joker’. Some critics on social media even said he was only trying to draw undue attention to himself.
Most Valuable Employees Reduce The Boss’s Burden
And that’s real life; the work experience of a boss. Until you step into the shoes, you may never really tell all that’s involved, how well it fits and how well you can cope. But once you are in, one of the best things that can happen to you as a boss is to have the right people around you who help lessen the burden. This is where the need for valuable staff members come in. It’s the dream of every boss or leader to have a subordinate ask ‘how can i be the most valuable employee to you?’.
Lagos state Governor; Mr Babajide Sanwoolu
I’m yet to see a boss who does not desire very supportive subordinates or staff. Simply put, a supportive staff is a blessing to his/her boss anytime, any day! This is not just so the boss can rest, but because the work demands keep growing and without help from effective subordinates and the other relevant quarters, performance will be stunted.
Moreover, the boss is supposed to be the team leader, not the team, meaning that he’s actually not to do everything. The quality of the results of a leader is determined by the quality of his/her team, ceteris paribus.
How To Be The Most Valuable Employee or team member:
3 KEY WAYS TO BE THE MOST VALUABLE STAFF TO YOUR BOSS
So how can you be a great deal of advantage to your boss? Below are 3 key ways you can prove to be a highly valuable employee to your boss and the organization:
UNDERSTAND YOUR BOSS’S GOALS AND TIMELINES
When it comes to goals and achieving set targets, your boss likes you to see the big picture; what’s the goal to be achieved? What’s the objective of the entire team? A valuable staff member asks the right questions and takes action. That’s one of the first steps to know ‘how to be the most valuable employee’.
Let’s use the example below from ADC Limited located in Abuja, Nigeria.
The boss has 5 staff members with the following job functions:
|S/N||NAME OF STAFF||JOB TITLE||JOB FUNCTION|
|1||Mercy||Company Janitor||To keep the office clean and maintain a good ambience at all times|
|2||Kelvin||Company Driver||To ensure customers get their goods promptly delivered to them.|
|3||Lucy||Business Development Manager||To enlist new customers and generate income for the business.|
|4||Kayode||Admin/Operations Officer||Responsible for the daily management of the office.|
|5||Helen||Auditor||To ensure proper management and accountability of the company’s finances and assets.|
The Highly Valuable Employee Goes the Extra Mile
You see, it’s okay for any of the staff to do their jobs just as prescribed in the Terms of Reference (TOR) and leave the rest to God as is normally said. That’s fine. I mean, Mercy keeps the environment clean at all times, Kelvin drives whenever he’s called upon, while Helen audits whatever document is brought before her.
But the employee with more insight and interest goes beyond that call on his/her TOR. He/she finds out the ‘core objectives’ i.e. the purpose of existence of the business and its periodic goals, and swings into action to ensure it’s achieved. It’s such people that are referred to as high value employees.
In clear terms, the core objectives are connected to the result all the activities of the five staff members listed above, are supposed to achieve. It’s the reason they come to work on a daily basis.
Usually, this is in the boss’s TOR; to aggregate all the efforts into a common piece that produces the results required to keep the business going on profitably.
Benefits of Being a Most Valuable Employee or Team Player:
- The boss has time to give attention to other areas of the business. This means more will be achieved, leading to growth in the business (which is a plus to all stakeholders).
- The employee or subordinate (directly and indirectly) attracts and receives training required to excel at this additional responsibility. Training is an investment that cannot be taken away from you.
- The subordinate sets himself/herself up for succession planning. After a period of good performance, the boss can confidently pass such responsibilities to the staff. This, in effect, means promotion.
- He/she earns the accolade ‘the most valuable staff’. Earning this requires a lot of sacrifice.
This is a very easy way to become the most valuable employee or team member.
In my many years of work, I have seen this scenario play out in different organizations. People who step into such shoes excel, despite the criticism they attract from colleagues.
A high-flyer staff is one who exceeds his/her set targets as stated in his/her KRA. They are the real most valuable employees (MVE).
While a regular employee achieves the targets set for him/her (which is pretty cool), the high-flyer achieves more. The outstanding performance leaves no doubt about the employee’s competence and the fact that he/she is on top of the job.
Of course, this is not easy to come by (though it’s been proven possible times without number)! Organizations do all they can to retain such valuable employees.
Using the staff of ADC Limited as listed above; let’s see how a high-flyer staff performs against the regular staff in the table below:
HIGH-FLYER PERFORMANCE IN ADC LIMITED
|S/N||NAME OF STAFF||JOB TITLE||JOB FUNCTION||SAMPLE TARGET||ACHIEVEMENT|
|1||Mercy||Janitor||To keep the office clean and maintain a good ambience at all times||Ensure the offices and environment are thoroughly cleaned by 7:30am daily.||● Concludes with thorough cleaning of offices & environment by 7am daily.|
● Runs errands for the office and its staff members daily.
● Assists the Admin & Operations manager.
|2||Lucy||Business Development Manager||To enlist new customers and generate income for the business.||● Enlist 10 new customers monthly.|
● Generate N10 Million monthly.
|● Enlists 50 new customers monthly.|
● Generates N50 Million monthly.
● Writes advert copies and provides contents for the company’s media, online.
As you can see in the table above, Mercy (though a cleaner), goes beyond cleaning, to meet other needs of the business, thereby increasing her value. Lucy achieves 500% of the goal set for her and even provides marketing contents for the company. . . WOW!
As a matter of fact, the boss can go to sleep and rely comfortably on Lucy’s contribution to keep the business running healthily, while he focuses on bigger futuristic projects for the company.
Naturally, high flyers get the most of salary increases and promotions in organizations around the world.
3. MOST VALUABLE EMPLOYEES HAVE UNDIVIDED LOYALTY AND INTEGRITY
True loyalty is golden; a costly precious virtue not found in every corner. It’s a scarce commodity, which is the reason not everyone can have it. The true meaning of integrity has been eroded by self-seeking interpretations keeping the virtue further from commoners.
Having undivided loyalty and integrity to your boss or company means the following and more
- Doing your best as a vital part of the team to ensure the company’s goals are consistently achieved.
- Putting the company’s interest first; before all others.
- Choosing not to steal company’s time, ideas, materials, information, data and all else for personal use, to sell to competitors, or anyone else or for any other purpose.
- Understanding the confidentiality of every information that comes to you and treating them as such.
- Having the trust of your boss or the company even when no one else is looking. That is to say you are always a trustworthy ambassador, who is always reliable to do the right things no matter the temptation.
- Continually seeking the good of your boss and the organization, and teaching others to do the same, irrespective of your position and personal feelings about who’s involved.
With the expatiated meaning of loyalty and integrity listed above, you can understand why giving it to your boss and the organization you work for, will be of immense value to them.
Just like loyalty is dearly important in most areas of life; politics, religion, family, it’s also a critical requirement for anyone who wants to be the most valuable employee.
WHY THESE 3 ASPECTS ARE SO IMPORTANT TO THE BOSS AND THE BUSINESS
- They increase the performance and productivity of the organization (which results in company growth).
- They increase the profitability of the business
- With them, the market share of the business is increased.
- It helps the business function better as a team and everyone achieves more.
- The company’s overhead cost is reduced, while more value is being created.
- The company is better positioned for succession planning.
- The boss has more time, energy and resources to face bigger concerns that lead to business expansion.
- The organization will be a happy place for people to work, resulting in a good job satisfaction rating.
Do you know of any boss or organization whose desires are contrary to these? I’m yet to see any!
So, do you desire to truly support your boss and be a great advantage to him/her? Do you want your boss to carry you like an egg and put all the value there is on you? Would you like your boss to have peace of mind and be thankful to God for bringing you his/her way? Find your place here!
See you on top!
Richard Uwamari – Richardizm
About the author
Richard Uwamari – Richardizm is a certified management consultant and leads the team at hrm2day.com. He is also the consulting partner at Richystar Consulting limited, a management consulting firm based in Lagos Nigeria.
Having been in the HR industry for over a decade now, he’s contributed his expertise in meeting ‘people needs’ of several local and international organizations. Asides his management consulting interests, Richard has a deep commitment to youth empowerment where he’s been involved in several developmental activities. He likes music and good food!