W Scott Greene from The Llama Lounge shares insights on how to talk about your career impact through ROI terms.

How to Advance Your Career with ROI BtR 327

In order to demonstrate your value at your current or future organization, it is important to be able to discuss how your performance impacts the return on investment (ROI) for your salary.

W Scott Greene from The Llama Lounge shares insights on how to talk about your career impact through ROI terms.

Show Your Salary as an Investment

Show the value of your work by being able to talk about your work in terms of return on investment.

Most people in the workforce understand that their salary is not just a number. It’s a reflection of their skills, experience, and value to their employer. But when it comes time to ask for a raise or advance your career, few know how to properly communicate this value in terms of return on investment (ROI).

If you want to make the case for more money or a bigger role at your company, you need to be able to discuss your performance in terms of ROI. Here’s how:

1. Understand the basics of ROI.

At its most basic, ROI is a calculation that compares the money you invested in something (in this case, your salary) with the money you got back from it (in the form of increased productivity, sales or other measures of success).

For example, let’s say you’re paid a salary of $50,000 per year. If your work helped your company increase its sales by $100,000 over the course of a year, your ROI would be 200% (or $100,000/$50,000).

2. Know your numbers.

In order to calculate your ROI, you need to know two things: how much you cost and how much you produced. This means keeping track of your performance metrics over time.

If you’re in sales, for example, you’ll want to track your closing ratio and average deal size. If you’re in customer service, you’ll want to track customer satisfaction scores and average call times. If you’re in marketing, you’ll want to track leads generated and website traffic.

3. Communicate your ROI.

Once you have a good handle on your numbers, it’s time to start communicating your ROI to your boss or decision-makers at your company. When you’re preparing for a performance review or salary negotiation, take the time to sit down and calculate your ROI. Then, present this information in a clear and concise way.

For example, let’s say you’re a salesperson who has been tracking their closing ratio and average deal size for the past year. During your performance review, you might say something like, “I closed 10 deals last month, for an average deal size of $5,000. My closing ratio was 20% and my total sales for the month were $50,000. In terms of ROI, I generated $250,000 in sales for every $100,000 that I was paid in salary.”

By presenting your ROI in this way, you’re showing your boss or decision-makers at your company that you’re not just a cost – you’re an investment. And, as with any investment, they should be willing to pay you more if you continue to produce positive results.

4. Keep track of your progress.

Once you start communicating your ROI to your boss or decision-makers at your company, it’s important to keep track of your progress. This will help you see how your ROI is changing over time and give you a better understanding of what’s working and what’s not.

It can also be helpful to compare your ROI to that of other employees at your company. This information can be useful when you’re negotiating for a raise or asking for a promotion.

5. Be prepared to negotiate.

When you’re discussing your ROI with your boss or decision-makers at your company, be prepared to negotiate. If you’re not happy with the offer they’ve made, don’t be afraid to counter with a higher number.

Remember, you’re not just asking for more money – you’re asking for an investment. And, like any good investor, you should be prepared to negotiate for the best possible return on that investment.

By understanding and communicating your ROI, you can show your boss or decision-makers at your company that you’re not just a cost – you’re an investment. And, as with any investment, they should be willing to pay you more if you continue to produce positive results.

If you want to make the case for more money or a bigger role at your company, start by calculating and communicating your ROI. It’s sure to get their attention – and put you in a strong position to negotiate for the salary or promotion you deserve.

There are a number of things you can do to advance your career. Here are some tips:

1. Be proactive and take initiative. Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. Show that you’re a self-starter who is always looking for ways to improve.

2. Take on additional responsibility. Volunteer for projects or tasks that are outside of your normal job duties. This shows that you’re willing to go above and beyond.

3. Build relationships with people in higher positions than you. Get to know the people who make decisions at your company. These connections will be helpful when it comes time for promotions or raises.

4. Stay up-to-date on industry trends. Keep your skills sharp by staying current with changes in your industry. This will make you more valuable to your company.

5. Be a positive influence at work. Be someone that other people enjoy working with. This will make you more likely to be promoted or given raises.

By following these tips, you can show your current or future employer that you’re an asset to the company. Demonstrating your value will help you advance your career and earn the salary you deserve.

W. Scott Greene Bio

Scott is a retired U.S. Air Force Senior Enlisted Leader with extensive experience in the healthcare community.  He is currently the Organizational Development Manager at the City of Corpus Christi. He holds several leadership and development certifications including Certified Mental Health First Aid Facilitator with the National Council for Behavioral Health, Shipley Communications’ Four Lenses, EI Learning Systems’ Emotional Intelligence Certification, and Facilitator for Satori Alternatives for Managing Aggression. 

You can connect with W. Scott Greene on LinkedIn.


Listen to these past episodes of Beyond the Rut

Take Your Career to the Nth Degree and Build Employee Loyalty – BtR 182

Find Career Clarity with Career Catalyst Tracy Timm – BtR 181

Creating Career Magic with Lee Cockerell – BtR 072


W Scott Greene  00:00

So that’s a perfect example. And I and I mentioned this person I go, there’s a problem in your department somewhere, or maybe an adjacent department that you can touch. The goal is to just solve that problem and quantify what you did to solve that problem.

Jerry Dugan  00:13

Hey, Rutter Nation. Welcome to another episode of beyond the rut, the podcast that shares encouraging stories and practical tools to help pull you out of your rut into a life worth living. I’m your host, Jerry Dugan, and we’re going to be joined by a returning member of this network, Scott Green Scott is one of the hosts of the llama lounge. He’s also a member of the Lima Charlie network, which is a network I’m a part of, and he and I both have a career that is on the same path. We’re both directors of organizational development teams, we help organizations build effective teams through communication, leadership, development, and culture building. So what does that mean for you, though, maybe you’re in a career where you feel stuck in a rut? How do you advance your career? Well, that’s what we wound up talking about. In this episode, we’re going to share with you one key thing to focus on so that you can communicate better about the value you bring to the table, and that people need to pay attention to you. And that is R-O-I. what is that? What does it mean? And how do you leverage it so that you sound valuable? So sit back and relax unless you’re driving in that case, keep your head on the swivel cars, by the way, great place to listen to a podcast, because it fills the airwaves and fills your brain with some new ideas. So But that said, here we go. Hey, Scott, you know, it said, if you find what you love doing, you’ll never have to work a day in your life again. What are your thoughts on that?

W Scott Greene  01:49

You never have to work a day in your life. That is garbage. Right? That’s garbage. Because I love what I do. Like, you know, people have hobbies, and My hobbies are studying personal professional development, and processes, which is what I do for a living. Yeah. And so it’s it stinks when what you, if I wasn’t doing this for a living, it would be a hobby. So what happened is my hobby became my full time profession. And now there’s accountability to it. Right? Oh, yes. Like if you if you’re doing woodworking or building a model train? Who cares? If you mess up? Right? It’s your it’s your hobby. So yes, if I mess up in my hobby, yeah, there’s performance standards.

Jerry Dugan  02:32

I really, my daughter once asked me like, what’s your ideal job, dad, because I’ve always been like a lifelong learner. And I told her, you know, if I could get paid to learn things, and then just share with people, the things I learned so that they also learn those things. That would be ideal. And she’s like, so you mean, like a teacher? I’m like, no, they don’t get paid enough. No, no, that that gets paid? Well, that’s what I want to do. And yeah, that’s kind of what I do. Now, as a director of organizational effectiveness. It’s like, that’s my current gig. And then, you know, who knows where I go from here? But you know, yeah, to teach a team of people to go out and teach other people to do that type of thing. Yeah. If He’s way better than, you know, K through 12. respects. But here’s,

W Scott Greene  03:17

here’s the amazing thing, right? So what I like about so, you know, if you want to put corporate training, is your audience may not necessarily be the same audience for nine months straight. Right. Like it is like, you may go from audience to audience to audience. So that’s nice, right? Yeah. Like I can be done with you now. Right? We’re a school teachers, God bless. Because they have to put up with the same kids. And same parents and a lot of cases, the entire school year. Yes. Yeah. So where I can go, Okay, I’m done with you. Right. I’ve given you the training you need. Now I know, it’s different, right. In our world, we’re actually, we don’t just do. I mean, we, we both work for organizations. So our clients are members of that organization. But back when I was in corporate training, it was great because I go in do a workshop, and maybe do a follow up workshop. And that was it. Like I didn’t, you know, call us back when you want to do more training, right? Yep. Yep. You know, being Go ahead.

Jerry Dugan  04:19

Oh, yeah, I was gonna say on the same token of that, though, like if you’re in an organization, and you have them for like, maybe a training session this month, and then four or five months later, you have another training session, or maybe once a year, whatever it is. The the harder part of that gig is you’ve got to justify the expenses and the investments. So at some point, you’ve got to show your organization the return on investment, for pulling those leaders or those nurses or the city employees out of their jobs into a classroom. And then you got to show them that okay, so you paid this much in salary for those folks to come to training. We paid this much for travel, we paid this much for materials. Oh and by the way, that’s why Right, you know, the catering, the underlying piece that you hope never comes up is like your salary and the whole picture. And then from there, you got to show that because we invested in this training, people were able to do this function or this task faster, or more proficiently, which saves this much time and rework or customer complaints, or loss or shrink, you know, there’s got to be some kind of business tie. So you want to show that your training impacted those things. But on the flip side, you don’t want your training to be the sole reason why those things shifted. So you got to paint this picture of, I provided a piece of the overall pie that helped move the needle the direction we wanted. And so without me, you could not have done it. But it was not solely because of me, because if it’s solely because of you, all of a sudden, you also become the scapegoat. Well, you know, if it doesn’t work exactly, you know, Scott’s fault or Jerry’s fault, or you know, there was no training, therefore, it was their fault. And so then there’s the other piece, you always got to have the the political side of it going well, that you got to, you got to work with your peers and your supervisors and their supervisors in such a way that when there is a training need, they call on you, as opposed to not tell you so they can blame you later on. When things fail. It’s like, well, we would right? Well, if Jerry was available to do a training program for us, but he wasn’t he was so busy. It’s like, wait, what? Yeah, never reached out. And they’re like, oh, yeah, we did. And then you find that passive email that really was their request, but wasn’t clear. That’s what they were requesting. So yeah, I think,

W Scott Greene  06:41

yeah, I think one of the tricks to that is the keys to having successful training plans, or training programs, or whatever you want to call it, is to make it include some sort of project based work in there. All right, so So I just trained you on this process. Now your job over the next 90 days, is to implement the systems and intimate the, the ideas or concepts that we talked about in this training session, implement them in the next 90 days and see what you come up with? And what it does is it plays to that, that participants ego because they want it to be successful, right? Well, yeah, they because they don’t want to fail. So they’ll, they’ll actually, and I’m not saying that everything that I discuss or present is 100% foolproof, right? You want people to put in their, their sort of their concepts as well sort of marry their skills and talents with the the the processes that you are offering them. And so what it does is you give them an assignment and you go, okay, 90 days, I want to see how successful you are, yeah, I want you to show me how you save time, money, resources, improve customer around customer services. And so that’s where you can sort of build in your ROI, right, here’s the training we did, here’s the training we provided, here’s the steps that we’ve given them over the next 90 days to follow, the challenge is up to them to do it, and improve that ROI on their own. And, and so we we’ve done that recently with, with where I work at, you know, municipalities are known for being sort of stagnant and archaic. And so when I got to my current role, I wanted to put together a process improvement team. And so and the vision for this team was when different departments had challenges when they were stuck somewhere, I would have this this cadre, this cohort of people that I can go, Hey, this would be a good person to help you solve that problem. So we sent them to training, we sent them to work, get some Lean Six Sigma certification, some some yellow belts. And part of the certification process was they had to do a project within their own department and demonstrate how these processes save time, money, energy resources. And we had one guy, and so we’re going to be presenting these to our city manager here in a couple of weeks. And one guy alone, just his small project, where he was looking at over time, he was looking at the fuel that was being used on these different routes for vehicles. He saved the money on his 90 Day project alone, paid for if in a sense, the money he saved, paid for the training for all 16 people in this cohort. Yeah, right. So if I go, that’s the ROI right there, right, just his project, save that much money in the in the past 90 days. Now multiply that by 16 or 15. With the other projects, who knows where the outcome that total number is going to come from. But that’s when you, you know, hey, morale is low in your department. I’m going to give you some training on how to boost morale. But over the next 90 days, I want you to do these weekly check ins with your team. I want you to follow these these steps in these procedures and utilize these tools that were given you. And in 90 days. Let’s do a survey with your team and see how Well, things are going. And of course, most institutions, they want to know how you’re saving time, money resources. But anytime you can quantify any of that stuff, it’s great.

Jerry Dugan  10:11

It’s fun. It’s almost like you were in my classroom on Friday or Thursday when I did a resume writing class for new grad nurses who are now going to be applying for jobs, preferably with my organization, because we’re the organization that trained them and got them their nursing degrees. So we were talking through, I think it’s the biggest difference between a leader in informal leader and the hired help, in a sense, those two mindsets are very different. The hired help will write out a resume that says just their job duties, I was responsible for taking cash at the cash register, I was responsible for filling orders of customers, I was responsible for checking on inventory. And that’s like, great, that’s the job description. That’s, you know, who you’re telling me, you can do the bare minimum, that’s, that’s great. You don’t stand out, like, you just told me what anybody can do. So the people who stand out the ones who start thinking, like, with a sense of ownership, and a sense of pride, which also goes in line with that informal or even formal leadership mentality, is you start to measure things like the impact you had. So, you know, you talked about sending your students off to do a, an actual project and kind of report back with some kind of follow up, you know, so if you have a student who attends a training that Six Sigma based, they round with their employees to find out what’s working, what’s not. And all of a sudden, they uncover like, I had no of an organization where I used to work that, you know, we had this nurse manager, brand new nurse, managing brand new to leadership, and the subject was rounding on your employees to see what’s working, well, what’s not. And so she did that. That was her homework assignment. And within one month, we came back together. And she shared with us that she was rounding and the thing that her employees were consistently upset about was that they had broken equipment. And, you know, they only have like, they were asking originally for new equipment. And they only had like two machines that were doing the operation that they needed the procedure. And she’s thinking in her head, like I just saw the financials in the Assets book, and I know we have five of these things. Where are the other three? So she she was like, thank you so much. Yes, I’ll look into this. And so she did some digging, found out that the other three are tucked away in a patient room that they never use, because it’s the patient room that they tuck away all the broken equipment. She’s like, why do we have that? Like, why do we have a room that has all the broken stuff in it, and none of the broken stuff is off to biomedical to get fixed? And why is it we’re complaining about needing more space, when more space is right here, filled up with broken medical equipment. And they came back with all this like, well, this is the way it’s always been, you know, our old manager would just kind of shuffle things off into this room, or we’d be in a pinch. And that’s where we’d put it. And we’d kind of forget about it. And she said, Great, let’s take all the stuff out of there and call biomedical and get them to fix it all. And so they did. And so it wasn’t costing just like a few $1,000 for the repairs. And it was all internal costs, like, alright, well biomedical fixed, it would, you know, this is a much labor and parts it took, and it’s all up and running. So they went from like, We’re short on equipment, and please buy more of these, like $100,000 pieces of equipment, for a few $1,000. They put all those pieces of equipment back into operation. And they got a patient room up and running. And so now they’re able to get patients in more patients. And at the same time, the working equipment got patients process through faster. And so 30 minutes of her talking to different people on the floor lead to cost savings of hundreds of 1000s of dollars, if not millions, because you’re talking about repair versus replacement.

W Scott Greene  14:04

And especially with the ability to process more patients. Yes, revenue. Exactly. You’re gonna increase that revenue,

Jerry Dugan  14:12

we came back to that follow up, she had ROI in terms of cost savings of repair versus replacement and revenue increase, because you had now one extra room that more capability. Yes, it was like 20 Extra patients a day and the cost of per visit and she’d had all the calculations. So the point I’m driving home is the difference is down that leader can put on her resume that she brought revenue up by X number of dollars, brought cost down and had provided cost savings of X number of dollars. And that’s quantifiable. So when you take that type of information to a somebody for promotion, like hey, promote me, here’s the stuff I’ve done for the organization. Here’s it quantified and it’s stuff that sounds better than just because I’ve been here for 10 years. Right,

W Scott Greene  15:00

right. Yeah, I was I was recently in a, on a organizational development. I don’t know if it was supposed to be a roundtable type deal. It was on LinkedIn. So it was it was it was web based, Zoom based. And there were some presenters. And it was a small group. So there’s three presenters. There’s about 15, or 20 of us total on there. And one of the participants, not a presenter, but someone just was chiming in and was talking about how they wanted to sort of elevate themselves in their organization. But they didn’t know if, if their current responsibilities warranted that. And I mentioned that I kind of tend to take over those conversations because I can be opinionated. So even though I wasn’t a presenter, I kind of just, I got an idea. And I said, solve a problem that most leaders don’t even know exist, right? Because they’re up here. So this is a perfect example what you talked about, right? Because it’s status quo at that point, right? People were just kind of going with it and dealing with it, because that’s just the way it had been. And so that’s a perfect example. And I and I mentioned this person, I go, there’s a problem in your department somewhere, or maybe an adjacent department that you can touch, the goal is to just solve that problem and quantify what you did to solve that problem. And that’s how you elevate yourself. Because most of the time, people get so caught up in just the day to day doing the status quo, that they don’t think, okay, I need to step back and see what I can do to make an impact and make a difference. And, and the response was, that’s great. That’s incredible advice. And I think more of us need to have that mentality, that that, hey, how can I improve things mentality? Because, one, we’re in a day and age, and this the way I look at things, where I’m hiring younger and younger people who their cause based, right? They they are they a part of, are they and so they their mentality and their mindset, Lis I’m here to make a difference, not necessarily here to make, make a living. And so you want to give people those opportunities to enhance the workplace or make a difference. And so I think for most people, it’s just look for those little problems that can be fixed relatively quickly, right, you know, a short when low hanging fruit. And you know, you will blow some people’s mind that, like this, this process this lady came up with that you’re talking about, it was basically just getting rid of junk, if you think about it, right? Yeah, yeah, we got junk, we need to do something with it, and turn that into a revenue stream, turn that into improving processes. And so sometimes it’s just those little tiny thoughts. But you have to have people that you work with that want to make that difference. And that’s, that’s the big thing.

Jerry Dugan  17:45

So you heard Scott and I have a conversation about ROI as a way to make yourself a differentiator among a sea of applicants if you’re applying for a new job, but also to show your organization the value you bring every single day. Now, that is very important, because some organizations forget what they have, and they risk losing you. And so when you go to negotiate a higher salary or promotion, or you just want to talk about future endeavors within that organization, or without that organization, it’s important to know what is the impact you have on the return on investment, the bottom line for the organization, and that could be through, you know, prevented expenses and costs or growth in revenue, reduction and turnover, which kind of leads back to that first thing, reduction in cost, all those good things. So if you found value in this, hit that share button and share us with a friend, a family member, a co worker, that neighbor across the street, and that’ll just help promote this show, and pay it forward. All that good stuff. And now you can also go to the show notes at beyond the rut.com/three to seven. There. I’ll include some tips on how to write an effective resume, and some other episodes that just talk about how to propel your career to the enth degree and so much more. Now, I’m glad you joined me this week, and I look forward to joining you again next week. But until next time, go live life beyond the rut. Take care