It is the ultimate “Third Rail” issue in business – is compensation really an accurate reflection of ones relative value to an organization? What is my “Market Value”? What am I worth? How much can I get paid? Am I being underpaid? Fair questions, and a natural part of anyones thoughts as they evaluate their career and professional growth. However, if the last year has taught us anything, it is not just a question of are you getting paid enough, it can become a question of if you will get paid at all.
Everyone, in every role, at every level, in every organization had better be able to directly and clearly point to how they are helping the company provide their goods or service. The days of “nice to have” and “extra” are behind us when it comes to business – especially when it comes to headcount. Every single person has to be a contributor. They must add revenue, protect existing revenues, or fill a vital support role. For some this is fairly easy to quantify (sales, business development, client service, operations,etc.) while for others (IT, HR, support, training, etc.) it can be harder to quantify. Regardless of the “degree of difficulty”, we owe it to the company, and especially to ourselves, to really identify how we are a critical player – how we are contributing.
As we commented on in some earlier posts, specifically in “Past Performance is no Guarantee of Future Results” and “Compensation Comments…Redux“, there is a great deal that goes into compensation and “value”. However, when it is stripped down to its most basic premise, it is all about how much you and your role impact the companies revenue – do you contribute to the bottom line? Do you personally help the company provide their particular good or service – are you an integral part of what makes the company successful.
In summary, there is no direct answer. In the end it is a fundamental issue – does your presence and role in the organization add to the bottom line. Are you a source of revenue or a cost? Sometimes it is easy to quantify and answer that question. Other times it is not so easy. But in the final analysis, your relative value and your role in an organiztion is directly proportional to how much you are tied to their revenue going forward. Revenue production that is…