Do you add "extra value?"

You see it everywhere you go..."value added service" "extra value." In fact, as consumers we've come to expect extra value for our such as 24-hour service and free pick up and delivery are now commonplace. Businesses know that they must do a little extra to get and keep good customers. What about you? Do you offer value-added service to your customers? If you're saying to yourself, "I don't work directly with our customers" you could be making a big mistake and missing a huge opportunity.

We all have customers. Now maybe you don't work directly with outside customers but you sure have lots of inside customers...your boss, your peers, your employees...they are on the receiving end of services and work products you produce.

Is it difficult to think about your fellow employees as "customers"? Try this idea: Imagine you were a freelancer doing your current job. Would you approach your job differently? Sure you would. You know that you will only be given more work to do from this employer if you have the special skills they need, produce quality work, and fit in. And as a freelancer you also know the best way to get repeat business is to delight the customer with unexpected value for their money.

This scenario is closer to reality than most of us would care to admit. We are all just "renting" our performance after all. "Job security" is an obsolete concept. In the new freelance economy we need to stop worrying about staying employed and start worrying about staying employable. The new employer/employee covenant has changed. It's no longer job security in exchange for dedication and loyalty. The covenant goes something like this: a healthy work environment that offers flexibility and personal growth in exchange for up-to-date skills, performance and culture fit.

Do you add extra value in your job? Do you go beyond your job description to solve problems for your employer? Workers of the future will know how to deliver value...or they won't be employed at all. Wondering how you rate? Let's take a quiz to check your
Value Rating:

1.      If your boss had a choice between a freelancer in your field and you...whom would he or she choose? If the freelancer is the better choice, is it because the freelancer: Has newer, needed skills? Delivers better performance? Adds more value as a problem-solver?

2.      For managers: If your employees held an election tomorrow would they elect you to be their leader? If they wouldn't, you have some work to do to become a leader who adds value. If you are a manager who is the gatekeeper of information and sole decision-maker, you are an unnecessary bottleneck and are expendable. Leaders who add value leverage themselves by coaching and developing their employees. They share everything they know about the business. They also build bridges between groups of people and keep everyone focused on the common goal.

3.      Have you noticed that the same people are always on committees and task forces? Most of the important work in companies today is done outside the formal hierarchical structure. Why? Because the old structure no longer fits the way we work. If the same people are always chosen to be on these problem-solving teams, perhaps they've learned the importance of delivering extra value outside of their job descriptions. Are you one of them? Have you been asked to serve on a committee or task force in the last six months? If you're on a committee now are you a key contributor? You would be if you were a freelancer.

Make no mistake. Employers are becoming choosy customers...they have to be to stay competitive. If you add value in your job, employers will always choose you.

Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616,, or 
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