Do you get frustrated by the lack of recognition for all your hard work?
When you’ve put in the hours, and gone the extra mile to make a difference, it can feel so disheartening when nobody seems to notice.
But while it feels like “they” should know the impact of what you’re doing, your boss, senior management or your colleagues may have limited understanding of how you’re making difference, and are probably too busy fighting fires to take the time to figure it out.
You are more likely to get recognition for your work if you can explain how it benefits your organisation and if you can give some quantification (or qualification) of the impact it has.
While this means you end up doing extra work, it does mean that you also have this information to share with people outside of the organisation (e.g. through your CV, on Linked In), and with those who don’t have direct visibility of what you do.
Here’s a process that I find useful when I’m trying to capture the value of what I’ve delivered so that I can communicate it to others:
1. Identify how your work benefits your organisation
Everything you do should ripple through the organisation to contribute to the organisational goals, but the path through is not always clear.
Taking time to think about how your work brings benefit can help you understand different approaches to quantify the value you bring.
It’s a fairly simple process, but it’s not always easy to see the connections, so this might take a bit of time the first time you do it, and you may need to get out there and ask others for input. However, with practice, you’ll find you start to do it intuitively.
1. Start out by identifying how the things you do bring value to those you work with and for. Identify one group of people that your work supports or feeds into, and notice what benefit they get from what you do. e.g. do you contribute ideas, save them time, help them deliver their work?
2. Next, find out who they support and deliver value to. How does what you do help them to deliver? What value does that bring to the people they work with?
3. Now, look at this next set of people – who do they support and deliver value to? How does what you do feed through to help them and what value does it bring?
4. Keep going and look at the next set of people until you start connecting to your organisation/ business objectives.
At some stage you should see how what you do feeds into either:
- how the organisation makes money or sustains itself
- how the organisation saves money and works more efficiently
You can use this information to work out ways to quantify the value of the things you do – and if you use this process to understand the potential benefits before you start a project or piece of work, you’ll find it can also help you identify where to prioritise your time.
2. Quantify the value of the work you've delivered
When you put numbers or figures against your achievement it communicates the scale of what you’ve achieved.
This can feel challenging at first, especially if your activities don’t directly feed into something that is already being measured or tracked, but when you get it, it’s extremely powerful and can really help you to stand out from the crowd.
- Identify the achievement or activity you are proud of.
- Ask yourself, what problem were you trying to solve? The closer you can relate that problem to the needs of the organisation you work for(using the process above), the better.
- What did you do to solve it? Were there any that you are particularly proud of taking that illustrate your capabilities or strengths in a particular way?
- What were the results of what you did? What are the different ways you could demonstrate these results? How do you know you solved the problem? The most important results are the ones that impact the business (e.g. increase income/ profit, saving time, increasing efficiency).
- What are the different ways you could quantify these results? Is there any data within the organisation you could use to capture some of the value of this activity?
By breaking down what you’ve achieved into the problem(s) you were trying to solve it can be easier to identify specific ways to measure the results.
You may need to get creative in how you gather the data and the way you pull it together – for example, sometimes it’s useful to use more than one metric to illustrate your point (e.g. time saved plus satisfaction of stakeholder). If you’d like some fresh ideas on metrics you could use that aren’t financial, check out my article on measuring your impact.
And if it’s too hard to put an actual figure on it, simply identifying that you are aware of how the things you do benefit the organisation can be enough. (e.g. increased efficiency, reduced overheads etc).
3. Turn it into a succinct statement of achievement.
Once you have all this info, create a headline statement you can share with people by stating:
The problem you solved
the results you achieved.
This can be used for your performance review, an application for promotion, your CV, in your LinkedIn profile, or even in a passing conversation with your manager.
You’ll find that this statement is a fantastic starting point for a more detailed conversation about how you achieved the results, and because it’s framed in the context of benefits to the organisation they are more likely to appreciate what you have done.
You’ll find a worked example of this process for building teams in my Authentic Visibility For Women In Tech.
Take Action and have a go:
Pick one thing you’ve been working on this year and go through this process to create your statement of achievement so that you can understand its elements.
If you’re preparing for a performance review or are polishing your CV, you may find it useful to check that all your achievements fit this format. You’ll notice it gets easier once you’ve done one or two
If you have any questions or need any support please come over to the Facebook group and ask, or for some one-to-one feedback and support with your CV, you can book a one-hour one-off session with me here.
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