We are employed to provide value to our employer.  That is the bottom line of any employment contract.  Thus, when you offer greater value to them, you are more likely to continue employment and advance in your career.  There are many ways to provide higher value so let’s look at some of the “low hanging fruit” steps we can take.

Business Knowledge Provides Greater Value

This is a fundamental part of any job and any role.  The more you understand the business you are in and how you bring value, the more you will be able to see opportunities to contribute more.  This knowledge is where you can provide process improvements and reduce waste.  Your regular tasks should all be adding to the value you bring.  When a task or process does not provide value towards that goal, then it may be a candidate for removal.  For example,

For example, a status report that does not include information about how you are progressing towards your work goal is not likely useful.  Thus, it may be a report that no one reads.  In that case, why bother creating it?  For this example, the report may be unnecessary, but the options are to make it useful or eliminate it.  Some managers follow a process that requires a status report.  This may keep elimination from being an option.  In that case, adjust the information you provide to make it valuable.

Improve Communication

The least invasive way to improve value is to provide meaningful communication.  This improvement may be as simple as a status report or as complicated as documenting enterprise processes or creating an information portal.  To consider improvements to communication, we must first consider the “why” of it.

  • Call To Action
  • Informative/Status
  • Reply requested or required
  • Training/Education

The easiest step to improve your communication is to state the purpose.  In an email, this goal is achieved with a proper (and consistent) subject format.  We have listed out some best practice ideas in a past article, so I will not rehash them here.

In general, consider the goal of the communication and use tools to get the reader to the goal quickly.  Typical improvements include items like a table of contents, easy to scan formatting, tables or graphs, and info graphics.  These format and delivery steps may take more time on your part, but it will be a value add for your employer.

New Approaches to Old Problems

We are not all geniuses, but that is not a requirement for coming up with a fresh approach to a problem.  Spend a little time each day or week quietly considering your work.  Your experience is unique and may be essential to finding a new approach to any of the challenges your job presents.  When you spend some time considering the big picture and your goals it allows the opportunity for you to connect new dots.  Read stories about great inventions and improvements.  You will find that many of the best ideas come in these “quiet times.”

If you would like to dig deeper on this topic, you can listen to a recording from our recent mastermind/mentoring session where this was the focus.  Send an email to us at [email protected] for a link to download the audio.  It is around thirty minutes of covering some ways to improve your value.


Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a lifetime learner as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences and a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although they have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax or working on his ballroom dance skills.

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