Beyond the KPIs

Whenever I start a new position within an organisation or business, the first thing I look for is gaps.

Gaps are obvious if you keep your eyes and ears open.

They are the things people sigh about, complain about, try to handball to someone else to do. They are things on people’s wish lists. They are often mentioned in a sentence with the words “It would be great if…”

They are roles or tasks that need a person to do them, but currently, no one is. They aren’t always big or time-consuming, they aren’t even always necessary or urgent, but by filling them, you are making the world around you a better place. You are adding value, you are making people’s lives easier and you are making yourself useful.

While there are always expectations and KPIs attached to a specific a role, there are also other things you can do to add value. After all, you are there to help the business be the most successful it can be.

Last week I went along to a roundtable Q&A with a group of twenty-somethings who work for a small content writing agency in Melbourne. Someone asked the question, “How can I add value, beyond my job description?” My mentor Jim responded by asking if they had ever asked their employer that question. A good place to start.

Talking about this later with my good friend Teagan, she told me that the people she wants to work with show one thing, initiative. Bingo! That’s exactly what it is. To take action and do something you weren’t asked to do.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, Stephen R. Covey writes: “People who end up with the good jobs are the proactive ones who are solutions to problems, not problems themselves, who seize the initiative to do whatever is necessary… to get the job done.”

Tomorrow on your way to work, ask yourself one thing — how can I show some initiative and add value today?

Lauren Vilitati