In the increasingly competitive world of work, it takes more than just being great at your job to impress the boss. Being great at your job is expected of you; it’s why you were hired in the first place anyway, right? Employers are keen to keep employees who are performance-driven and consistently demonstrate the ability to increase productivity. In this article, I share with you seven (7) things to do to become that employee the boss would do anything to keep.
1. Make yourself increasingly relevant to the organisation/business (apart from the work you were hired to do)
It’s time to step beyond just being at work to simply do your job and get paid. Think about what those things are that make work easier for your boss or up-line and that increases productivity within the team or the organisation as a whole. If you work for a sole trader, go beyond your job description and find out how you can make things work better in the office – new business contacts, opportunities to break into new markets, process improvement techniques. Help out by sometimes doing more than you are paid to do, if it’s an area that you do well. The key is to find new ways to serve the main purpose of your boss, which is to grow the business.
2. Carve yourself an (a new/better) identity and be known by it!
Your work carries your stamp and your identity, and employees oftentimes fail to realise this. Inadvertently, the kind of person they are impacts greatly on the quality and nature of the work they produce. You can’t give what you don’t have – it’s a principle of life. If you want to be the kind of employee the boss would give anything to keep, cultivate excellence, integrity, honesty, good will towards others, stick-ability, creative thinking, an inquisitive mind, analytical thinking, a positive mind-set, team spirit, etc. These attributes are winners any day, and if you cultivate/develop them, your work is sure to be winner any day.
3. Be(come) a ‘value-added’ employee
There are mainly three types of employees – Those who are hired and do not do their job; those who are hired and do their job; and those who are hired and do their jobs but transition to a higher level of making a difference. Those in the third category are those I refer to as ‘value-added’ employees. A ‘value-added’ employee is an employee who has gradually made himself indispensable, and to whom the business/organisation can attribute efforts, ideas and strategies directed towards driving business growth, improving team/business performance and increasing productivity. Since you joining the organisation, how have you added value?
4. Is yours a case of personal/professional growth, stagnation or depreciation?
Employers love employees who proactively seek for ways to grow and increase their performance or offerings on the job because the business may benefit from your development in various ways. When you stop growing you start to stagnate and eventually you depreciate and lose your relevance, especially in the light of continued advancement in knowledge and technology. Your commitment to lifelong learning is an indication that you would always have something of value to contribute to the business as your knowledge and skills increase and translates to improved performance.
5. Recognise the contribution of others and compliment them
What goes around comes around is a common saying, and many of us have found out either sadly or happily that it rings true. Reaping what one sows is a principle of life; it applies in all situations. Employers value those who notice, appreciate and compliment others. And you bet, when you make complimenting others a habit, it’s guaranteed to be your turn next time.
6. Complement the work of others
In any work environment, it is important to discover your own uniqueness and find ways to underscore and celebrate what is remarkable and special about you, your approach to work, the way you view things and what you bring to the table. This is something that a lot of people have either never learnt to do or have forgotten to do. Discovering and celebrating your own uniqueness fosters the kind of confidence that frees you from insecurities and anxieties on the job, from pitching against your colleagues and from needless rivalry. It also helps you to discover ways of complementing other team mates, so that team/organisational goals are achieved. Employers highly value employees who have a team mind-set, who use their areas of strength and skill in such a way that it emphasises/improves the qualities and work of others.
7. A healthy balance of humility and confidence
Self-confidence is about trusting in one’s abilities, qualities and judgements, and sometimes, if not carefully checked, can quickly lead to just a little bit of pride or an over-inflated sense of one’s importance. Proud people find it hard to see or accept when they are wrong, they are hard to correct or teach, and they soon begin to repel others. Employers value employees who are both self-confident and humble – trusting in their own abilities and judgements, while also being teachable, easy to correct, and able to see things from others’ point of view . It’s a great asset to have an employee who has a healthy mix of both humility and self-confidence, and this should really be cultivated.
If you are already this kind of employee, congrats! You’re in for the long haul with your employer and likely to be well-favoured. It’s doubtful s/he’ll be letting you go anytime soon. However, If you’re not there yet, now is the time to start working on cultivating these values.
Wishing you the best!