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Your Guide to a Promotion: Strategies to Demonstrate Value & Document Wins in Government Affairs

by Adam Stone, FiscalNote

Practical strategies that can help showcase and elevate your accomplishments, whether you’re hoping to see a bump in your paycheck or trying to position yourself for a promotion.

Shaking hands after a government affairs promotion

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As a professional in government affairs, it can be hard to show hard numbers and tangible results that can help you ask for a promotion or a raise. It’s not like you can tie your actions directly to the bottom line.

“It's difficult to put a monetary value on what we do. Just by the nature of it, it's going to be a little squishy. Outcomes are going to be hard to see,” says John Sheff, senior director of global government affairs at Turntide Technologies.

Whether you’re hoping to see a bump in your paycheck or trying to position yourself for a promotion, here we go over some practical strategies that can help showcase and elevate your accomplishments. By demonstrating the value of government affairs, both immediate and long-term, you can enhance your professional status and prove your expanding worth within the organization.

Transparency Drives

Internal transparency helps prove your value in an organization. The more people within Sheff’s organization know about his work, he says, the easier it is for them to perceive the practical value of government affairs.

To ensure he’s keeping everyone abreast of his efforts, he has lots of casual conversations with the executive team, and he maintains distribution lists that show who’s interested in what issues. That way, as he is working to shape policy, he knows he’s getting key updates to the right people.

In FiscalNote’s State of Government Affairs 2022 Industry Survey, 10 percent of respondents said they communicate daily to internal stakeholders, 38 percent weekly, 21 percent bi-weekly, and 32 percent monthly.

As a government affairs professional, “you need to relay information in a long-enough timeline so that people can make informed business decisions,” Sheff says. “Business leaders appreciate having those eyes and ears on the ground so that nobody is surprised when regulations come down.”

That steady flow of information helps build the business case for the value of government affairs. When it comes time to ask for a raise or a promotion, people on the receiving end of those updates will already know what you have been doing on behalf of the organization.

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Documenting the Outcomes

While processes are important, it’s equally vital to document the outputs — the end products of those efforts.

Katie Beeson joined the Washington Food Industry Association as government affairs director in April. While she’s still fairly new, she’s already thinking about how best to document her worth.

"We have a myriad of state agencies here in Washington, and they're always working on different rule-making projects that impact our members and our operators," Beeson says. As new rules emerge (or die on the vine), she connects the dots for her stakeholders.

"I show that, because we were present, because we were engaged, that piece of legislation wasn't as bad as it could have been. I show how we made it better," she says. "At the end of the day, being able to prove the impact of your engagement is a powerful way to show your value."

Digital tools can help track those engagements and generate data that demonstrates the accomplishments of the government affairs executive. A comprehensive policy monitoring software helps you stay on top of the legislation and regulations that matter most to your organization, track and analyze the monetary value of your actions, and even show the potential costs had you not succeeded. And, with stakeholder management features, you can demonstrate and visualize the value of your relationships.

These tools can help build up the documentation that demonstrates your impact on the organization. To bring it all together, you need to explain how those key accomplishments relate directly to organizational objectives.

Stay Ahead of the Curve and Recession-Proof Your Government Affairs Strategy with FiscalNote

In this fast-paced world, you can’t show tangible results — which are the only thing that matters in the end — without the right technology. FiscalNote’s suite of products has all the solutions you need to prove the value of your work, report on your success, streamline workflows, and mitigate risk with policy monitoring, stakeholder management, advocacy, and collaboration tools. FiscalNote’s solutions give you the 360-degree approach you need to build and report on your government affairs strategy as you angle for a raise.

At the end of the day, being able to prove the impact of your engagement is a powerful way to show your value.

Katie Beeson, Government affairs director
Washington Food Industry Association

“Whatever we do, we always need to be able to relate it to the bottom line,” Sheff says. “You always want to be building relationships with your business leaders so you understand how your work impacts theirs.”

While it isn’t always possible to put a precise dollar value on a legislative or regulatory outcome, you can and should be ready to tell a big-picture story about the results you’ve achieved.

“There are always outcomes with a piece of legislation,” Sheff says. Even if a new rule doesn’t directly impact the bottom line, “I can firmly say that without it, our whole industry — including my organization — would have lost a significant amount of money. Business leaders are interested in those kinds of outcomes.”

By highlighting those outcomes in conversation, and backing their claims with data, you can elevate your status within an organization, positioning yourself well when it comes time to talk about a promotion or pay increase.

How to Prove the ROI of Using FiscalNote Issues Management

Learn how FiscalNote can help you save time and increase productivity, plus the hard numbers demonstrating the value it will bring to your career.

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