We are always pondering the question; what makes a good leader, an inspiring entrepreneur and a great boss but are we overlooking what could be regarded as a business’s greatest asset; the ‘employee’.
An employee requires as many skills and qualities to keep a business moving forward as those at the top of the decision-making tree and therefore can be as valuable to the company as the leader of the business is. Here are eight ways to be an ideal employee and keep ahead of the competition on your way up the employment ladder:
1. Be a team player On a professional and social level, think of yourself as a member of something bigger than yourself. Turn-up and engage in workplace events, staff birthday parties, evening socials and even get involved in shaping those additional activities – everyone loves an organiser and the chance to bond in and outside work and it’s rewarding from all angles. Don’t see ‘out of hours’ events as a chore. Embrace them!
2. Improve your communication skills Good written, verbal and listening skills are invaluable. In a time when computers are the norm, the ability to express yourself clearly and concisely is imperative, especially if your job entails report making or long-term project work. Think about what you are saying. Thoughtful sentence structure when speaking is essential – it is so easy to say something that can be taken the wrong way, so think of the impact of your words before you utter them. Phrase correctly and chose the right tone so you’re not misinterpreted. Listen and then act on it, if you are slightly forgetful, make notes.
3. Show loyalty Long time service will always be welcomed by an employer as hiring can be time consuming. A great employee should think of themselves as part of the team for the long-term; understanding and aligning with what the business stands for, its ethics, morality and core ethos. In doing so, great employees learn how to wear the’ company head’ and not just think of the salary. Once in a role, being polite and professional will always help your chances of promotion and give an air quality to all you do.
4. Show a positive attitude A great employee helps make work fun and easy-going for everyone else by exuding the right attitude and maintaining a happy spirit in the workplace. Bad moods and attitude brings everyone in the workplace down and is not good for the office environment, morale, business productivity or colleague wellbeing. Remaining upbeat even when tasks are frustrating, difficult or laborious, gives strength to others around you and in turn labels you with the all-important ‘can-do’ attitude that will get you far in any career.
5. Be a Self-starter One who is willing to solve a problem, show initiative and who doesn’t give up easily on a challenging task will earmark you for promotion and show others that you are a steady pair of hands. Knowing what you should be doing without constant micro-management and remembering what has been asked of you when new tasks are assigned will underpin your status within the organisation and lead to more responsibility within it.
6. Be punctual Good time keeping never goes out of fashion. Arriving at work on time, returning from breaks and lunch promptly will always be respected. When working hours are abandoned it is not only being rude to your employer but also to your colleagues who do abide by the rules and have to pick up on your slackness. Of course sometimes being late is inevitable; however a quick call to offer an explanation and apology is all that is required to avoid conflict. By sticking to agreed timescales, you are much more likely to be given time flexibility when you need it.
7. Show adaptability A willingness to stretch your knowledge, learn new techniques and skills and seek new opportunities within your current job will lead to you receiving more interesting work and gaining recognition within the workplace. Adaptability or creative thinking when a task is difficult or unpopular will help to achieve it in a much more manageable way and display to those all around you that you have what it takes to progress.
8. Show that you are trustworthy Being known as trustworthy is a highly regarded trait within the workplace and is essential if you are to progress to higher levels of responsibility and the rewards that come with higher-level roles.