Written by: Nicole Quinn, HR Manager
Recognizing how to demonstrate on-the-job value can be challenging and is something that I personally struggle with from time to time in my role as an HR Manager. To help me keep this in perspective, I ask myself, “How is the work I am doing today adding value to the overall success of Water Standard and our produced water subsidiary, Monarch Separators?” Notice I ask myself this as an open-ended question, which forces me to be truly present and consider what actions I can take. Our company is a water treatment and service provider for oil and gas operations, so it can be difficult to see how some of my daily HR contributions lead to our success since I am not in a direct sales role or an engineer on a project. However, in this post I will share some simple ideas to help recognize and bring value to your role, no matter which position you hold within your company.
What Does Adding Value Mean to Me?
Our company’s passion for what we do, instills a desire to strive to be the best. In my opinion, if you are not seeking knowledge or enrichment, how can you possibly be growing or developing for the success of your organization? Again, because I am not in direct contact with customers or sales, I choose to focus on self-improvement as one way of contributing and becoming a more valuable asset to our company. I recently decided to pursue the SHRM-SCP accreditation that will give me a professional distinction among my peers. Hopefully after reading this blog, you’ll have some take-aways to help you gain knowledge to give you distinction as well.
My Top 5 Tips to Add Value to Your Organization
Limit How Much You Look Back – Prior company solutions are not always a good fit for your current company’s problems.
Yes, using past experience is important but limit how and what you choose to focus on. Time and time again I can recall an employee stating, “At my last company, we did it this way.” In some cases, that suggestion might work, but as an HR leader, the best thing I can do is to consider past experiences as one option and then I suggest being open to new and innovative approaches to processes and solutions. Limiting your options to what worked somewhere else, doesn’t open the door to what could end up as the most strategic/forward-thinking direction or approach.
Define Boundaries – Block off time to think. Yes, that’s what I said. To think.
This has taken me time to adopt but I can honestly say it has a direct impact on the value I bring to my role. Time blocking is the practice of organizing your day through time blocks rather than to-do lists and it forces me to take time to think through my initiatives. Though I concede that I don’t do this for my whole day, but instead for a specific task or project, it truly helps me visualize the project and complete it in the most efficient manner. I schedule the task or project as a high priority on my calendar and actually sit, think, research and/or devise a plan for that project. For example, I time blocked 2-hour increments for this blog in order to research, outline and write. If I had not done so, it would be too tempting to answer emails or to pick up calls. It’s easy to get bogged down in our day-to-day deliverables without making the time to organize our thoughts to effectively manage a project or task. In any given day, practicing time blocking makes me feel less stressed or anxious about the outcome of the project.
Manage Up – Ask not what your boss can do for you, ask what you can do for your boss.
Bringing value to your direct supervisor brings value to the whole company. If you can preemptively handle tasks (big or small) to help your supervisor(s), they can focus their time and energy more efficiently, which contributes to your team’s success. Some examples include, offering to draft a presentation deck or researching up-and-coming technology to present to the team, or updating processes to eliminate gaps. In other words, don’t wait to be asked – identify a need and offer your expertise. Offer something specific, rather than saying, “Let me know how I can help.” That can be an empty offer which requires more work on your supervisor’s part. YOU know your expertise, so offer what you can. Personally, I have to work at this, HARD, but I know when I do, my supervisor is impressed by this proactive approach.
Find a Mentor – There are many benefits to allowing others to teach you.
I have personally worked with a broker for years with whom I lean on, not only for her expertise but for her professional opinion on how to manage difficult situations. I appreciate the passion she has, as well as her level-headed responses that help me to reflect, learn and develop as a leader. Sometimes finding a mentor happens organically, other times you have to reach out to industry leaders and ask. Just remember, most professionals LOVE to be mentors, all you have to do is ask!
Affiliate Yourself – Learn to love what you do and jump in with both feet.
SHRM, AMA Houston, SPE, AMTA, The Produced Water Society, Pink Petro, NSPE, WEN – you name it, there is an organization to affiliate with. Participating in a professional organization, specific to your passion, is a win-win. It allows you to connect with peers, colleagues and other industry leaders. These associations help you keep up with industry trends, advances in technology, networking opportunities and can provide you with a competitive edge. And of course, industry organizations are the perfect venue to find a mentor, as I stated earlier.
So there you have it. Five of my favorite tips that can help you demonstrate your value at work, which will directly impact your company’s overall value.
Now, here are your next steps.
- Ask yourself if you are you looking back or to the future?
- Consider how you can create realistic boundaries at work to help you take control of your time.
- List three things you could start now to help manage up with your supervisor(s).
- Time block some time to research organizations you should affiliate with for your role.
- Take a minute to think of a mentor you can approach and then do it!
Feel free to share any additional ideas you have or if you’d like to learn more, connect with me on LinkedIn.
About Nicole Quinn
Nicole has 17 years experience in Human Resources, with 10 of those years in the oil and gas industry. She takes great care to connect with each employee individually and truly has an open door policy – unless she is time blocking! The team here at Water Standard and Monarch Separators, appreciate her willingness to listen and her sound advice on all things HR. We also love her outgoing personality, contagious laughter and her adventurous spirit! Fun fact about Nicole: She has traveled to 42 out of the 50 states in the U.S. so we are looking forward to hearing more of her humorous stories from her travels.