Last week I posed the question “Does My Job Really Matter?” and received a number of well thought out responses including one suggesting that if I held up the letters D M J R M to a mirror that I would have the password to my CRM system. Still didn’t work.
But one respondent felt that making your job matter was more the responsibility of the individual worker rather than the company explaining how important the job was to their overall success. The suggestion was that this was especially true for individuals currently working in a position rather than someone applying for a job.
My research led me to a book entitled One Page Management by Riaz Khadem and Robert Lorber. Written in the style of the One Minute Management series with a forward by Ken Blanchard, the authors suggest that if you can’t find Critical Success Factors for your job then maybe the job isn’t necessary. Let me explain.
First of all, no one knows more about a job than the person who is doing the job. Yet most people doing a job have no idea how well they are doing the job, nor how well their managers think they are doing the job. They don’t know what the critical success factors are and are usually shocked when their semi annual review is less than positive.
Here are the steps that you need to take to understand your job and how much it matters to your company.
- Define Success – every job has a different idea of what constitutes success. Sales, accounting, IT, engineering, health care providers all define job success differently. Getting this definition starts at time of hire. It should be part of the first 90 day evaluation process. As the new hire you should ask what you need to do to be successful, to make your manager say “WOW, what a great hire.”
- Target the Most Critical Success Factors – Once you have defined success for a particular job, ask what factors are the most important, the critical factors. In sales increasing revenue would be one success factor, but increasing revenue from existing customers would be a critical and more profitable success factor.
- Understand Your Environment – There are few if any jobs that exist in a vacuum. Every job connects with other departments, customers (both internal and external), vendors, co-workers, etc. Understand what you do and how it impacts the others that you touch.
- Constantly Evaluate – Make sure that you understand how what you are doing compares to what should be done. Do this on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis depending on type of job and frequency of activity, e.g. sales could be weekly, accounting monthly, engineering quarterly based on project etc.
- Take Control – Once you have all of this information about your job, don’t be afraid to use it. Keep your manager informed and ask for guidance on a regular basis. Seek out key influencers in other areas that you touch and get their input and advice. Always have it available at time of review.
So, does your job really matter? Ultimately you have more to say about this than your manager or the company you work with. The more control you have over your job and your career the better you will feel about what you do and how much it matters.
Now, I am off to change my password or maybe get another CRM system.