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American Business Culture: Contributing Profit and Growth

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In the long run, your usefulness to a company is shown by your contribution. Are you part of a team that makes money? Are you part of a team that leads to growth for the company? Are your efforts directly impacting the team? Do your coworkers believe in your contribution? Is your manager clear about your contribution?

Some workplace teams become misaligned through various problems. Maybe a few people are having issues with ambition or jealousy. Maybe some people are workaholics without actually being productive. If you are on a team that seems to be dragging you down, you will want to make sure your manager knows exactly what you are doing. Also, make sure your manager appreciates it--wants the contribution you are making. If not, try to re-create your work to match what the manager truly wants. It is acceptable to ask, in a straightforward way, "What exactly do you want me to be doing?" or "How exactly would you like me to use my time?"

If the team AND the manager are causing you to be part of a group that is not productive, you need to move on. The bottom line of any business situation is money. Whether or not your manager or coworkers like you personally, you can always protect your job by showing high-level people that your work creates profits and/or growth. If people are preventing you from doing that, you need to remove yourself from them--as you cannot feel confident about your job in such a situation.

Always keep track of the profit/growth that your direct efforts have created. Know this in numbers, if possible. How many people have you (has your team) served? What are the numerical outcomes of your work? What are the short term gains? What are the long term gains? Your true productivity is also your true job security.

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