What’s Your Personal ROI?

by Laura Stack

The concept of personal return on investment (ROI) is one that’s been steadily gaining currency in the business world over the past few years. While the term can be defined in several ways, in common usage it’s just what it sounds like: the investment potential that you, as an employee, offer to your company.

And like any other resource, you’re only as good as your ROI. The harsh realities of survival in the Great Recession have hammered this point home to employers and employees alike. As a modern worker, you’ve got to be hardnosed about your ultimate value to your employer. You ignore this at your peril.

Perform a tough, even brutal self-assessment of your value, focusing on these factors:

  • What are you really good at?
  • What makes you special?
  • What distinguishes you from your peers?
  • How do you personally help the company achieve its corporate goals?

As a business resource, your value is dollar-driven. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to prove that you’ve earned or saved the company at least three times your base salary every single year.

You may not be able to provide a specific dollar amount or percentage for your personal ROI, but you should be able to demonstrate the fact that, without you, the company would be worse off.

And never forget this: you can’t assume that anyone will automatically realize your worth. So in addition to being able to prove your ROI when called upon, you need to be proactive about stepping forward and demonstrating that hiring you was a positive investment decision. This is especially true if you feel you’re undervalued. As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease; but be careful here, because obnoxious squeakiness can get you the boot instead.

Demonstrate by your actions and initiative that you’re worthy. Then, be politely assertive, though not aggressive, in pointing out your personal ROI to those who matter in your organization-so that you can maximize your value both to the company and to yourself.



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© 2012 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is America’s premier expert in personal productivity. Since 1992, she has presented keynotes and seminars on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in today’s workplaces. She is the bestselling author of five books, including What to Do When There’s Too Much To Do. To have Laura speak at your next event or subscribe to her free monthly newsletter, visit www.TheProductivityPro.com.