Quantifying Value

Value1) the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.; 2) a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life.

"Value" is currently a hot buzzword with employers/recruiters looking to fill ABA positions, and if you haven't been on an interview yet and heard the "We value our team" speech.... you will.

Employers will tell you how much they VALUE their team, value their employees, "couldn't do what they do without them", and value the contributions of the clinicians, but without observable action steps does this word actually mean anything?

I can't count how many times I've heard employers go on and on about how much they value their team/staff, and see the importance of each team member. Yet when talking with the staff, they are often overworked, underpaid, and frustrated. So it would seem there is a disconnect somewhere, or ABA companies would not have such high turnover rates.

What's going on here?

Let's look at both parts of the definition of Value, to shed some light on the problem:

1) The importance or usefulness of something: This is basically how the employer values YOU. Are you viewed as a unique individual, possessing specific talents and unique perspective, as someone who would benefit the company, and a much needed addition to the current team? No? Well then what kind of "value" is that? To quantify value, yes, we do need to touch on the financial aspect. As an ABA provider, are you being paid a reasonable wage based on average salaries in your area, your education, and your experience? Are you working somewhere where you can give feedback to management, have a say in how you perform your job, and receive the level of support you need to grow? If you are truly an important part of the team, what happens when you disagree with a decision from management? Is your viewpoint heard and respected, or dismissed? Worse yet, does management simply pacify you (pretend to hear your concerns), but no change actually happens?Employers far too often focus on their bottom line, without intentionally working to put together a team of highly-valued ABA clinicians who will approach their work with passion and excellence. I've been in this field for a long time, and trust me: passion will take a person much farther than just talent. 

2) A person's principles/standards of their own behavior: This is basically how YOU value you. Have you truly sat and considered all that you bring to the table as a RBT/BCaBA/BCBA? It's probably much more than you realize. No 2 clinicians are exactly the same, so even though you may have the same educational background and certification as every one else applying for the position, you possess a unique personality, perspective, and style, that would be hard to replicate. What is most important to you about a position? Do you value income the most? Or flexibility? Or not being micro-managed to death? Or working for ethical professionals? Or a family-like atmosphere? Or cool perks and paid vacations? What really matters to you? And here is the tough part---> Once you learn what your values are, don't toss them out the window just because an employer approaches you with a really good offer. You won't thrive in a position that cost you your values. To put this another way, if you apply for a company that seems FAR more interested in your certification than who you actually are as an individual: run. Do not walk, run from places like that.


Know what your core values are, and hold firm to them: Personal Values Assessment

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