Making Yourself Profitable

How to be more valuable to your employer

Every employee costs a company something. That equation tends to vary depending on the industry and what position an employee holds, but generally, the cost is broken down in a few ways.


What do you cost your employer?


Salary is the first obvious cost. Every employee receives some kind of compensation, whether it’s an hourly wage or an annualized salary. This salary is also subject to things like taxes – so, even if it doesn’t go right into your pocket, it is still a cost associated with hiring you.

Benefits are another obvious one – health insurance, life insurance, retirement, and so on. Some companies cover a portion of these costs or offer a matching contribution to retirement accounts.

Paid time off is also a cost. For each day an employee is not working, the company is still paying a salary with no productivity associated with it.

Training costs every company something, and on several different levels. Every hour an employee spends training rather than working is an hour of productivity lost but still paid for. The cost is not just in the employee’s salary, but also the trainer’s salary. Some companies also hire outside training as well, which is an additional expenditure.

Other costs can also be attributed to each individual employee – the cost of the equipment they need to do their job, the cost of the space they occupy in the office, office lunches and parties catered by the company, and so on. So, as you can see, determining how much you cost your company is not as easy as you might think.

But there’s another question that’s just as tricky: are you a profitable worker? Were you able to earn your company more money than you cost your company?

If you aren’t in sales, then this question is probably tough. How can you accurately measure what your work was worth to the company? A good place to start is by thinking about any kind of quarterly or annual performance review you have. What kinds of factors to they evaluate? What questions do they ask you and what areas do they tell you to improve? These items will give you a good starting point for what kinds of activities you can do to make yourself a good investment.

You should also consider studying your company’s organizational flowchart. This chart is the one detailing the different departments and the positions that fall within each branch of the company. Where are you on the organizational chart? What positions seem to run parallel to yours? Are you supporting a number of other positions that have a direct effect on profitability, like sales and marketing? Another place to turn is to talk to your boss. Managers and directors often have more insight into a company’s internal functions and budgets than other workers.

After conducting your investigation, you should have a general idea of what functions you perform that produce the most income for your company, or else support the most valuable profit centers. In SAP, you are often responsible for the IT solution that drives productivity all across the company. How much revenue does an outage cost your company in terms of sales and processing? How many employees are impacted when the accounting and financial processes aren’t working and they have to wait while you fix it?

As you can see, you have the great potential to have a negative impact on your company’s systems and processes if you aren’t careful, though you can also rescue them when trouble strikes and help them get back on track. Another thing you might be able to do is find ways to support the other departments that utilize SAP. What functions do the sales people wish they had in the client relationship management system? Are you able to customize those features in or develop an app that addresses their needs? If so, you can start having a direct effect on your company’s bottom line, and make their investment in you worthwhile.

Image courtesy of via creative commons


About the Author:

Pete has been working with SAP technologies for over 10 years. He started out as an ABAP consultant and then moved on to BW where he has worked many different clients covering a wide variety of industries. "I love introducing SAP technology (especially BI) to new clients and showing them how they can go from zero to hero within their business in super fast time". Contact me on twitter @PeterMoxon