Friday, March 25, 2016

Remaining Relevant in an Evolving Workplace


It is common practice that organisations cut off the weakest link, particularly when times are hard and there is a need to downsize. How then do you remain ever relevant in your place of work, and not be part of this weakest link that could be cut off?



According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, being relevant is “bearing a strong connection to the matter at hand in a purposeful and meaningful way.” Therefore, to “be relevant” or “remain relevant”, a person or thing must be seen to make a difference in a decision-making process or the day to day business activities of an organization. Bringing it home, an employee is only relevant when he/she contributes his/her skills and knowledge to improve the state of the organization they work for, especially in reaching a desired goal.


Just as the topic of this discussion suggests, the workplace is continually evolving. In the past we had so many manual processes in place at work, which have now been automated. Today, you hear a lot about things and businesses being done online, which we never thought would be possible. Organizations are diversifying, merging, and reinventing themselves. Government policies are changing the way the organizations do business.

As a result of these changes, organizations are now looking for people with the skills, knowledge and experience to help them survive and continue to remain in business. It is only those who improve themselves regularly by acquiring skills and knowledge that the organization requires that would be counted upon to help move the organization forward. If you have the knowledge and skills that the organization is looking for, then you remain relevant in the scheme of things. If you do not, the organization will look outside for it. Have you ever wondered why your organization decides to hire a manager or supervisor from outside instead of promoting you to the position? Most times, it is because the kind of skills and knowledge they need for the position is not available internally, hence they have to look for someone outside who has it.

There is a saying that you can only give what you have. In order to remain relevant, you have to regularly develop yourself by acquiring new skills and knowledge relevant to the business of your organization. Make a plan to develop the knowledge and skills you will require to do the job you want to be doing in the future. Know that your education, knowledge, skills and experience all are investments in your ability to contribute a value for which you can be paid. But like any other investments, they are highly speculative so once you have learned a subject or developed a skill, it is a sunk cost. It is time and money spent that you cannot get back, except it can make a difference in the quality of work you deliver. No employer in the marketplace has any obligation to pay you for it, unless he can use your skill to produce a product or service that people are ready to buy today.

In addition to developing yourself, implementing any of the following tips would add to your being relevant to the organization you work for:
  1. Contribute a value in excess of your cost i.e. you are as relevant as your ability to render value in excess of what it costs your organization to keep you in their employ.
  2. Add value everyday by continually working at maintaining and increasing your value vis-à-vis contributing to the bottom line as there is always something more you can do.
  3. Prepare for the next role/job: think ahead and see the whole picture; think up solutions to move the organisation forward in line with your JD or department and do those things that would bring this about.
  4. Adapt to changes in the organisation.

In conclusion, when you are relevant to an enterprise/organisation, they would want to retain you. You will enjoy promotion, higher responsibility, senior roles which will translate to better benefits, higher pay and more exposure in your field of expertise.

10 comments:

  1. wonderful insight....thank you for this opportunity,sir. consider me your ardent follower

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  2. Well written! I was hoping to read more about KSAs and their impact on relevance within the organization. Looking forward to more posts!

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    1. Idowu, your comments have been noted. Watch this space, as I will be touching specifically on the topic in the near future.

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  3. Beautifully crafted and very 'relevant' to the current business realities. Well done boss, give us more!

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    1. Thank you Chijioke for the compliments. Watch this space regularly for more insights.

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  4. Anita Dele-DicksonApril 10, 2016 at 9:10 PM

    This is insightful & true. Relevant to the season. More please........

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  5. Staying relevant is key, well done sir.

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  6. True and has gotten me thinking..

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  7. Well written and very relevant to the current state of the nation. Well done sir.

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