Recognizing the value of collective contributions

collective contributions

We’ve recently wrapped up performance review season here at Deloitte–a great opportunity for each of us to review our accomplishments and define our value. I spent some time doing the same, and it made me think about how Business Chemistry might come into play at this time of year.

  • If you ask a Pioneer about her contribution, she’ll excitedly describe the new ideas she’s brought to the table and the resulting possibilities now on the horizon.
  • A Guardian will dust off the list of his projects and tasks that he’s been keeping throughout the year, review it for completeness and accuracy, and setup an hour to walk through it.
  • A Driver will fervently bullet each goal achieved during the year, pointing out that she’s already working at the next level.
  • But ask an Integrator about what he’s accomplished, and more often than not, he’ll need some time to think about it.

The Integrator’s need to deliberate isn’t based on lack of accomplishment or confidence in his abilities. Instead, an Integrator may have a harder time identifying his individual achievements if much of his value lies in his efforts toward collaboration, relationship-building, and working for the benefit of the group. Because these are collective contributions, his individual contributions are naturally de-emphasized. Further, such activities are often viewed as “soft” skills that don’t directly contribute to business results or the bottom line. No wonder Integrators may not be able to articulate their value right off the bat.

And yet, most of us have experienced the benefits of an Integrator’s contributions. An Integrator may boost morale when there is a lack of motivation on the team, helping to bring a project over the finish line on-time. Their optimism and authenticity may speak volumes to a client and help the team land a new project. Their diplomacy and ability to relate to others may help get naysayers onboard with a decision that’s right for the company.

So if they are making important contributions, what can an Integrator do to make sure their value will be recognized during year-end reviews?

  • List out all of the areas where you spend your time, and tie those actions to business results. This exercise will help you begin to consider the quantitative value of your qualitative strengths.
  • Be willing to speak up for yourself. Everyone else is doing themselves that service, and so should you. Integrators tend to be self-deprecating, and modesty may be a good policy, but now is not the time.
  • Continue to talk up your team. But make sure to include yourself as having been part of the party. Integrators are often better at playing up the strengths of others than of themselves. Be sure to share the full picture and give yourself some credit.

If you’re a leader with Integrators on your team, there are things you can do as well.

  • Consider the metrics against which you evaluate performance. Are they able to capture the value that Integrators deliver? Does your performance management process rely too heavily on overly quantitative or individually-focused criteria?
  • Ask all of your team members about their collective contributions. Doing so will go a long way toward recognizing the value of efforts to develop and enhance relationships and promote teamwork.
  • Help Integrators draw out their specific, individual contributions to the team’s success. Listen to them describe their work and ask them to specifically point out the role they played in the overall achievement.

What are your strategies for recognizing collective contributions, your own or those of others?

Grace Lee
As the Business Chemistry Lead for the LCC, Grace is responsible for the strategy and overall operations of Business Chemistry. She leads Business Chemistry labs with client leaders to help them understand how to better relate to others and improve alignment and effectiveness in their teams.

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5 thoughts on “Recognizing the value of collective contributions

  1. This is really interesting, especially heading into the second half of the year. One of the things I’m guilty of as an integrator is that I might tell you about this really cool project that I’ve been working on, but I will also probably tell you about all of these other people who did a really great job on it. I like to recognize others for their contributions and make sure credit is given where credit is due. This has gotten me into trouble on both sides of the coin, for not giving myself enough credit, and for getting other people in trouble for things that maybe they shouldn’t have done or said. It’s something I’m working on for the future.

    Also, I think it’s a great idea to list out all of the activities that you’ve done throughout the year. I keep a word document throughout the year of projects i’ve worked on, reactions people have had, amount of time spent, and what my specific roles have been on projects. I find that at the end of the year it makes it easier to see what I’ve been a part of because I’ve written it down along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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