All work should seek to give more value
Give More Value

In the consulting and training world, it is often said, “Give more value than you expect in payment.” I believe this principle applies to both the independent workforce as well as the employee work force.

You will always find opportunity when you seek ways to contribute value. This requires a mental shift that starts with an attitude of service and abundance, not at attitude of selfishness and entitlement.

Years ago, I engaged in a short conversation with a fellow employee. I will call him Fred. The company was experiencing a major transition involving structural changes. These changes included a significant number of layoffs. Due to accounting rules, the company designated most employees in our department with a transitional┬Ł status. In reality, people were going to lose their job. If they stayed on until their release date, they would receive a generous severance package. A few of us were invited to stay with the company and we moved to a different building.

Fred was an older worker who served the company well for a number of years. He was not ready for retirement and would soon be facing an uphill battle to get a comparable job at his late career stage. He was moved into the new department, but remained a transitional employee. After a few weeks, I noticed that he was plodding along and not offering to do any additional work. In our culture, professional, and salaried, employees were expected to go beyond the 40-hour workweek. Everyone else in the new department was working at least 60 hours a week.

Fred’s disengaging stance was evident to all to see. He was sitting in the area designed for a secretary pool, located in the middle of the room in cubes. On one busy day, I took it upon myself to ask him why he would not ask how he could help. He came to work on time, went to lunch on time, and left on time. While we did not punch a clock, he took on the personality of a time clock. He simply said that if they company wanted more, they would need to pay him more.

The pay would have to come before the work.

At that moment, I knew Fred was heading toward the door. There would be no saving him. He was not interested in adding value beyond his current perception. After our conversation, I no longer saw him as a quality contributor, but as a passive mooch┬Ł. I returned to my office knowing I would never receive any help from him and had no chance of enjoying dinner with my family that night.

Fred did find a new job. It was in the same company. His attitude and behavior dictated his direction. He moved from a well-paid salaried employee to a lower-paid clerical hourly employee. Eventually, he was released from that position as well and I never heard from him again.

Regardless of your job status, you can give more value than you expect in payment if you have the right attitude. It often requires patience for someone to see it. Eventually, someone will see if, even if it is in another department.

Do you agree that every employee should seek to give value beyond what may be expected? Feel free to provide an example of this principle.

Give More Value than You Expect in Payment
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  • Years ago, long before I entered the Pulpit ministry, our Plant Superintendent of Tool and Die searched me out because of a production crisis that had shut down an assembly plant in another state. He explained to me the crisis, asked me to immediately go to another area of our plant and “fix” the problem. As he turned to walk away I said something to him that, at that time and place, he didn’t comprehend. I said — “Earl (his first name was Earl), I never look bad because if I look bad, you look bad and you’re never going to look bad.”

    Several years later I opted for early retirement to enter into full time ministry. After completing a year of Jungle Evangelism and Training (my family with me), in preparation to be a missionary, we returned to that very large automotive stamping plant and vised with Earl, my Tool and Die Superintendent of many years. I reminded him of my many times of presenting Christ to him and asked if he had accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. He said that his answer had always been and remained the same, “it would cost him too much.” As we were about to leave he stopped us, looked at our sons and said, “let to tell you something about your Dad. Whenever I asked him to do something, I walked away knowing that it was going to be done.” Please recall what I promised him years before that, “Earl, I never look bad because if I look bad, you look bad and you’re never going to look bad.”

    If you’re a Christian, it’s not only your name and reputation that’s in question, it’s your Saviour’s reputation, you’re boss’s and company’s reputation, your family’s reputation and your Church Family’s reputation. If you’re not a Christian, it’s your reputation, you’re boss’s and company’s reputation and your family’s reputation.

    In today’s economy, doing more may be the difference of staying in business or closing the doors

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