Have you ever wondered if you are viewed as a great employee by your employer? Being a great employee doesn’t always come natural. For most, it requires hard to work to consistently produce quality work, be productive, be a team player and ultimately contribute the success of the company. If you think you are doing a good job but you aren’t being promoted or recognized, it’s time to assess your standing as an employee and improve if necessary. Fortunately, there are steps you can take each day to become a better employee. Here’s four actionable tips:
- Improve Your Productivity
No matter what industry you work, your organization depends on the output of its employees for success. How productive are you each day? Do you feel like you are drowning in your to-do list or don’t know how to maximize your time? There are many ways you can improve your productivity. A few examples include:
- Make your to-do list for the next day at the end of your current workday;
- Knock out your smallest tasks all in a row and then focus on three main goals for the day;
- Don’t keep your email open while you’re working and avoid checking your phone frequently.
While it might sound counterintuitive, it’s also important to take frequent breaks throughout the day. Whether that’s to focus on something non-work related, get fresh air or something more trendy such as play an online game. In fact, a recent survey about the lives of gamers shows that the study participants believe gaming fosters productivity and 54 percent of respondents playing online games at work. Take time to try different tactics to improve productivity and see what works best for you.
2. Jumpstart Innovation
It’s important for every organization to continue to innovate in order to be competitive. As an employee, you are a part of the team and have a voice. Management gets busy and often stuck in the mindset of doing things one way. If you have a new idea for innovation, bring the ideas to the table! Maybe it’s a new software you heard about that will improve your team’s project management style or maybe it’s an idea about a product you’ve really put thought in to and desire to present it. Don’t be afraid to bring new ideas to your team, even if they aren’t immediately accepted. Over time, it will show leadership that you are an innovator—an important employee and asset to any organization.
3. Improve Your Communication Skills
Communication skills are important in every aspect of life and it’s often the first impression your organization makes of you. Luckily, it’s quite easy to refine the way you communicate. Of course everyone has their preferred method of communication so it’s important to figure out what’s expected of you in your job role. Maybe you are a project manager and you communicate with clients on a regular basis. Maybe you report to your manager or boss and that’s the only person you are responsible for communicating with. Ask yourself these questions of how well you communicate:
- Are you prompt in responding when someone asks a question?
- Do your projects tend to go smoothly and you know what’s expected of you?
- When you turn a project in, are there multiple questions you are being asked?
- Do you keep people in the loop at different milestones?
- If you know you are going to miss a deadline, do you alert someone?
- Are you frequently involved in conflict in the office or with a client?
These are a few of the many questions you can ask yourself to see if you are successfully communicating at work.
4. Practice Generosity
No one wants to work with someone who isn’t a team player. If you’ve been there, you know how difficult it can be and how it can lower the morale of the entire team. It’s easy to get caught up in your own work and not notice if others need help. Make it a habit to frequently check in with your team members to see if there’s something you could be doing to make their job easier. For example, maybe they rely on you to complete part one of a project before they can complete part two and you’ve been consistently slacking to deliver your part on time. If you are aware, you can prioritize next time so they aren’t impacted. Or maybe you have free time and can help a team member with a difficult project. You won’t know until you ask or offer your help. If you practice being a generous team player, you’ll be a better employee in no time.
These tips are just a few of the many ways you can work to be a better employee and hopefully they will lead to higher job satisfaction and potentially a promotion!