Are you adding value to your organization? Is your team 'valuable' to the organization? How are you measuring that value?
In my work I've become aware ... and I must say frustrated that employees are unable, unwilling and unaware that they are responsible and have an obligation to know their value and communicate their value to the organization. Senior leaders (CEO, Bd of Directors, SVP of HR/Sales/Operations) all are seeking to strategize and evaluate performance, productivity and profitability of their products, services and people. Products and services are innate, they are what they are and can be evaluated based on sales, quality and perceived value.
People however are humans. They have the power of choice which products and services do not. As organizations seek to link strategy, performance and people from top down there needs to be an equal emphasis from the bottom up, from the employees, to take on the responsibility to be valued, heard, and proactive. Not driven because of the annual/monthly/weekly evaluation but because of their own purpose, drive and self determination. Employee engagement is a give and take.
It is the front line employee that talks to your customer, your mid level manager that is communicating with employees who create new products, develop new processes and implement the procedures.
Too often strategy, process and evaluation get watered down or stops completely because as it moves down ranks then message becomes diffused. Similar to what happens when children play the game, telephone. As each child hears the message from the previous child they add their own spin, thier own perceptions. By the time it reaches the last person the message is different because it was heard with different ears.
The more a company provides oppourtunites for different levels, divisions, and teams to interact, communicate and share ideas the more willing people feel connected, willing to learn from each other AND even more important, the more willing they are to share their ideas, processes and inherent wisdom with each other. This is critical to today's organizations.
The more opportunities and experiences an employee has to learn how to take charge of their life, to be inspired and to be motivated to be the best they can be the more apt they are to change and become secure in communicating their value.
Working with a vast array of clients I have seen that many people do not know that they can take charge of their life. They are not exposed to information that can change their behavior, their perceptions and their lives. When I distributed, to interns and recently hired African American college graduates, Dennis Kimbro's Daily Motivation for African American Success it was the first time many had read a motivational book - these were brilliant, high achieving young people who learned how they can take charge of their lives at a higher level. I've also shared the book with entry level mechanics with the same results.
My own book "Sometimes You Need to Kick Your Own Butt" has the same results. I hear from people (of all races, genders and educational levels) who have never been exposed to motivational literature who write me or call me and say "I didn't know I could change!". Sales people are exposed often to motivational literature, tapes and programs however the programmer, the accountant, the administrative assistant, the janitor, the receptionist and most of your employees have not.
If you want people to be valuable and communicate their value they first have to learn that they are valuable and responsible for communicating their value. They must be educated that they have a choice to be better than they already are.
We are now a knowledge base economy and we need to be able to have ALL employees share their knowledge, their ideas and their relationships. It is the only way business can grow and expand into new territories offering new products, new processes and new ways of doing business.