What are you really contributing?

Having worked as a consultant for almost ten years I am naturally very output driven. Two key questions I ask myself and my team regularly are “What are you doing?” & “What value will it add?”.

Why do I ask these questions?

Naturally I am quite a driven person and want to know that what I am doing is valued by others but also contributing to wider objectives. If it is not then what is the point in doing it?

But it turns out that this is quite uncommon. According to Dr John Mervyn-Smith, Chief Psychologist at eg.1, talent development has focused largely upon identifying individuals who can progress through traditional organisational hierarchies for the last 30 years.

This leaves organisations missing out. Instead of measuring where someone makes an impact, many employers focus on what role they are in and look at their background/previous experience.

I can relate to this. When I was looking for a new job, very early on in my career, I found it incredibly hard to get a foot in the door. I had evidence to show how I had supported businesses in terms of helping achieve objectives, from increasing sales leads to introducing a new service, but I didn’t have a degree and this was the reason I was given for not reaching the interview stage.

I’m relieved to see things have changed since then. In fact, earlier this year publishing house, Penguin Random House, ditched the degree requirement for job applicants in an attempt to open employment opportunities to a more diverse range of candidates.

That said Dr John Mervyn-Smith believes most talent management models used by organisations today still remain out of date. Employers may look beyond just having a degree but they remain largely based on past experience and skills on paper, not contribution and impact.

This got me thinking about people I have worked with and organisations I’ve worked for. There have been so many occasions that I can think of where people have ended up in a role because they tick a box in terms of having the right experience – more often than not they can’t wait to leave because the role is not quite right for them or they are pushed out because they don’t live up to their employers expectations.

Then there are people I know who have ended up doing a job because they are the only one with the time to do it – no-one questioned whether they are the most suitable person to do the job. Quite often they are not!

What does this all mean? Well not only are organisations not getting the outputs that they want from these employees but quite often these employees themselves end up feeling disengaged and demotivated. This can be really damaging from an employer brand perspective.

It’s time to start thinking about the diversity of skills and potential contribution, rather than what it says on paper.

The GC Index is a great new tool that does just this – it focuses on an individual’s preferred contribution to a role and organisation. According to the Index I am a Game Changer with strong Strategist, Polisher and Play Maker traits.

As a director my role is to set the overall strategy for the business and for clients, developing new ideas and creating exciting opportunities for clients (Game Changer). As a consultancy it’s essential our work is high quality and standards remain high for clients, which fits with the inner Polisher within me.

I also lead projects and this is where my Play Maker score comes into action – working to get the best from the whole team to achieve our objectives.

About the author: Emma Price