How to be a Highly Valued Employee
If you would like to be a more highly valued employee and reap the rewards of that (get promoted, earn more money, help your organisation be more successful) please read on.
Many years ago, back in the 1980s, I remember a sign that was hanging in my manager's office. It said:
"People who never do anything more than they get paid for,
will never get paid for anything more than they do."
This message has stayed with me throughout my career and has been a valuable reminder to me and others, about a thing called "work ethic". I would love to reverse the trend of "laziness" that seems to be seeping in from the new generation of job-seekers. I would also love to help employees realise their potential and have more rewarding, fulfilling and better paid careers. It is also my job to help organisations become more productive and profitable and have happier thriving workplaces.
So, what do you need to do, to make your career take off, or be so great at your job that you get rewarded appropriately? Here are a few tips:
- Know your stuff. If you are working with a product read and learn the product spec sheets, know your products as well as you know your favourite computer game or your own car. If you are working with a service, know exactly what the service is and why people use it. Find out as much as you can about the products and services your organisation creates or provides so you can talk confidently and enthusiastically about them to others.
- Invest in self-development. What are you good at? What are you not so good at? Take courses, read books, join clubs that help you improve your attributes. Maybe you need additional technical knowledge in a new area - have a look online. Maybe you need to improve your presentation skills or communications skills - join a Toastmasters Club near you. Maybe you want to be promoted to a management position - do a part-time business management diploma. Be prepared to invest in your development using your own money and outside of work hours. You will be the one who benefits most from this activity.
- Look for opportunities. How can your organisation improve? Can you see areas of waste that can be reduced, or steps in the processes that can be streamlined to make your organisation more efficient? If your workplace is selling products and services to customers, is there a new market for these items, new customers, new features that will increase sales?
- Help others. Successful people want others to do well. Share ideas, become a thought leader and listen and learn from others. Be proactive in your approach. How can you make your managers life easier? How can you help your colleagues to save time? If you are working on a task for somebody, find out exactly what they want so that what you deliver to them is really what they need. Respond fast to others when they need your input. Ask others what you can do more of, do less of, and what you can do to improve.
- Ask for help. Admit when you do not have the knowledge or experience required to do a certain task. Admit it when you make mistakes. Ask others to help you learn so that you get it right next time.
- Be friendly. Smile at people you work with, say hello in the morning and goodbye in the evening, be interested in hearing more about them as a person. Seek to understand the special talents of others, show your admiration and say "well done!"
- Take positive action. Instead of blaming others, or fuming about things that have gone wrong, look forwards. Ask "How can we fix this?" Instead of accepting a block that is in the way as an insurmountable obstacle, ask "How can we get around this and make it happen?"
Do you want to be a highly-valued employee? Do you want to be recognised as a key member of the team? Do want to be appreciated by your colleagues and your managers? Do you want to advance your career, not only to earn more money, but also to make your role more interesting? Follow the seven items above and you will be making great steps toward your goals. You will love your job and people will love having you around.
If you are not interested in a more fulfilling rewarding role at work, you have probably not bothered reading down to the last paragraph. But just in case you couldn't resist the read, I have some advice for you: nestle back down in your favourite chair and watch TV, don't trouble yourself with making any effort. You are destined to keep shuffling paper from one side of your desk to the other. You may complain that you have a boring job and you will never be paid enough. You can try blaming it all on somebody else - but the rest of us know the truth.
Success With Grace is home of the TechBiz Success Academy, coaching and training to help technology based businesses grow. For information about TechBiz programs go to www.techbizsuccess.com Also check out Business Communication and Customer Communication workshops in www.iitp.nz/courses/
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