10 Simple Rules for Being a Great Employee
Are you the type of employee who moves up the ranks quickly, or are you consistently passed over for opportunities? While every position is different and has its own unique responsibilities, there are certain qualities common to employees who succeed and earn promotions. By following a few simple rules, you can be one of those great employees who stands out to management.
1. Communicate Effectively
Communication is one of the most important parts of keeping a workplace running smoothly. Make sure that what you say is easy to understand whether you’re communicating in person, over the phone or through email. Part of being an effective communicator is being able to listen, so pay attention to what other people tell you and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification when you need it.
2. Be on Time
To be a great employee, everyone at your company needs to know that they can rely on you. If you’re frequently late, people will see you as unreliable and management won’t want to give your more opportunities. Being on time doesn’t just mean being on time to work every day, although that is very important. It also means that you’re on time with your deadlines. Missing deadlines puts other people in difficult situations, so aim to always have your work completed at or before the due date.
3. Maintain a Positive Attitude
As simple as this sounds, it can make all the difference in how you’re viewed at your workplace. People with negative attitudes bring down the rest of the team. Coworkers won’t want to talk to them because of their negativity, and managers will see the effect they’re having on others. Regardless of the amount of stress you’re under, stay positive about what you’re doing.
4. Be Self-Motivated
Let’s say that you finish up your task early one day. An average employee sees this as an opportunity to relax, while a great employee sees this as an opportunity to find something else to do. Great employees always want to do well and help their company succeed. When you consistently go the extra mile and do more than what you’re asked, management will recognize that you’re the type of employee who can handle more responsibility.
5. Work Well with Others
Almost every position requires some form of teamwork. In some cases, that may involve working closely with several other employees on a project. Even if you work alone, you’ll still likely have coworkers who you need to collaborate with from time to time.
It’s crucial that you’re able to work well within a team dynamic to benefit your company. Communicating well and being reliable are two important factors in how well you work with others, and being helpful is another. Be the employee who is always willing to lend a helping hand to others who are in need. When they do well, your entire company benefits.
6. Dress Appropriately
The adage “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” applies here. How you dress plays a major role in how other people see you, and it’s particularly important in the type of first impression people form about you. Even if the dress code around the office is casual, a professional appearance goes a long way. When you wear shorts and a t-shirt to work, you look like you’re there to do your job and collect a paycheck. When you dress in slacks and a buttoned shirt, you look like you’re there to succeed and help your company do well.
7. Make Connections
You never know whose help you’re going to need or who can help you advance to a new position. When you go to work, be friendly with everyone. That doesn’t mean you need to hang out or chit chat with all the people you see, but you should be polite and sociable. Being kind to others fosters a positive atmosphere around the office, and it’s always good to be well-liked.
8. Look for Solutions
Management likes employees who think on their feet and come up with solutions to problems, instead of just pointing out those problems. While managers are there to make decisions and help you when needed, they don’t want to babysit employees every step of the way. If you need a managers help regarding an issue, try to have a potential solution in mind so you can run that by them. Even if they go another direction, it shows that you’re a forward thinker.
9. Take Feedback Well
It’s never fun to feel like you’re being criticized, but mistakes happen. There will likely be times when management offers you constructive criticism or wants you to do something differently going forward. Accept responsibility when you do something wrong, as this shows maturity and a willingness to improve. Most importantly, apply any feedback management gives you. Most employees aren’t good at listening to feedback, so doing this shows that you can follow instructions.
10. Do Your Best on Every Task
Again, this is a simple rule, but one that so many employees forget. Sometimes you’ll be on a task that feels beneath you or boring. You may not like what you’re doing. Regardless of your personal feelings, always give 100-percent effort to the task at hand. If you slack off on certain tasks, management won’t know when you’re going to bring your A game and when you’re going to take it easy. Get in the habit of staying focused and fully committing to every project. Remember, the work that you do always reflects on you.
All these rules are about being the best employee that you can be to help your company succeed. When you do this, you can expect to have better results in the workplace, which could lead to more recognition and opportunities for advancement.