So often we are bombarded with how to be good supervisors or managers in the workplace, but what about employees? Are employees exempt from putting their best foot forward and behaving well in the workplace? Absolutely not. Employees are just as responsible for not only the work environment, but the their relationship with their boss as well. So what are the habits of an effective employee?
1. Your actions should never surprise or cause your boss embarrassment.
While it goes without saying that your boss is the one who writes your performance evaluation, it’s important to look at the effect of your actions in the big picture. Most managers have an unspoken pet peeve, they do not like to be blindsided. When you look back at some of the biggest problems in the organization, the problem did not occur because of what actually occurred. The issue began when the employee attempted to “cover up” the problem. Consider your actions and determine their affect on your manager and the company. If you run into a problem, tell your manager as soon as possible and continue to keep them in the loop. Remember, as a professional, you should be able to anticipate problems, help to minimize them and keep your manager apprised of the situation. Let your knowledge, high integrity and sense of morals be your guide in your actions.
2. Add value to the organization.
The top mantra at any company is that everybody is expendable. If a worker were to leave tomorrow, whether it’s hard or easy, they can be replaced. The life of your company and manager should be better if you are “in the building.” You should be able to add something to the organization. The best way to add value is to produce results.
3. Consistency is the key
Your manager and peers need to be able to count on you consistently. Keep your promises and strive for excellence in everything that you deliver. Occasional outstanding performance is just that - occasional. Consistent outstanding performance is what earns high marks and promotions.
4. Pick and choose your battles.
Have you ever met the employee that feels that they must be a “champion” of every cause in the workplace? Filled with self-righteousness, unfortunately they are absolutely incapable of deciding which battles are important and which ones are time-wasters. They argue over everything from the extreme importance to the most insignificant. Arguing over whether or not there should be one pencil sharpener for the office or a sharpener on every desk, regardless of the budget is a cause they feel is worth fighting. While they may see themselves as the hero, management does not. While they think that all of their co-workers are cheering them on, company management is trying to develop the best path to releasing the problem employee.
Organizations not only need good management, they also need good employees. This is not to imply that everyone needs to be a puppet. It's important to remember, that in reality, managers control rewards for performance evaluations, as well as, promotional opportunities. Being an exemplary employee will improve your opportunities in the workplace.