How to be an Effective Employee

by ianmckenzie on June 19, 2014

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Sometimes being an effective employee is easy and sometimes it’s not —work responsibilities and circumstances vary, as do relationships with co-workers. One thing is certain: your attitude makes a big difference in how successful you are at work.

A positive attitude is a requirement of all of the following tips for improving your chances of succeeding at work.

Communicate positively and co-operate with others

  • Be friendly, supportive and co-operative. Develop a reputation for being easy to work with.
  • Contribute to the team. Everyone appreciates it when you help others who are swamped with work.
  • Treat everyone as your equal. The Golden Rule applies. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Compliment others when they deserve praise.
  • Don’t discus anything you would not want repeated; especially personal weaknesses or those of co-workers.
  • Ask for help when needed. People don’t mind explaining or demonstrating tasks if it is obvious that you have already tried to work the problem out on your own.
  • Be a good communicator. Give people your undivided attention during discussions, let them finish what they are saying and make sure you understand what has been said before you respond.
  • Be aware of your body language. Communication problems arise when what you say doesn’t match what your body is communicating.
  • Never criticize people in public. When you give feedback, do it in private, in an objective, constructive manner that helps people understand what they should do differently instead of just making them feel bad.
  • Communicate in a relaxed, patient and pleasant manner. People respond much better to calm discussion than to anger, sarcasm or commands.

Look and act the part of a responsible worker

  • Dress appropriately for the job. Consider the type of work you are doing, how your co-workers dress and the company image.
  • Look and act confident. Speak calmly, clearly and loudly enough to be heard. Look at people when they speak to you. Try not to appear flustered when things get very busy or when you are doing something for the first time.
  • Keep your work area neat and clean.
  • Be productive. Be on time for work. Don’t take extra-long coffee breaks, look after private business while you are on the job, or spend excessive amounts of time socializing. Let your employer know if you are going to be unavoidably late or absent, and use sick leave only when you are sick.
  • Finish important tasks even if it means working through breaks or occasionally staying past quitting time.
  • Use your time wisely. Plan ahead and do the most important tasks first. Organize your workspace and concentrate on one thing at a time, if you can. Take advantage of quiet times to do things you can see need to be done.

Set high work standards

  • Do good quality work of an appropriate quantity. Meeting work standards, quotas and deadlines goes a long way toward earning the approval of your supervisors and encouraging customers and clients to come back.
  • Make sure you understand the instructions before you start work on a new task. If there is a chance you will forget, write the instructions down.
  • The first few times you perform a task, follow instructions precisely. Ask your supervisor to check if you are doing things right before potential mistakes become a problem.
  • Be thorough. Do your work as correctly and carefully as possible. Check your work before handing it over. Don’t hesitate to do a job over if you think it might be unsatisfactory.
  • Work at a steady pace. Be a person who always gets things done.
  • Learn the “tricks of the trade” from senior staff and be open to new ideas about how you can improve your work.
  • Take responsibility for completing your work. When you have finished one task, move on to the next activity without waiting to be told.

Positive attitudes toward work and the people at work will help you to get your work done effectively and creatively and establish relationships that are pleasant and co-operative.

From ALIS

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The R’s Of Employee Motivation

by Ian McKenzie on June 16, 2014

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If you think your employee’s poor performance is costing you profit, instead of overhauling your employee roster, why not try motivating them to become better employees? Smart managers never overlook this fact: loyal, productive employees are one of your biggest assets. From corporate cubicles to the factory floor, the collective skills and efforts of people keep your operation going.

You can easily set the right tone in the workplace by learning to respond to a basic need we all share… which is to be respected and valued.

What you need?
You know I got it!

R-e-s-p-e-c-t

Everyone wants to be treated with respect.

As a manager, your words, body language, even your facial expressions make a huge difference in how employees perceive your opinion of them. For instance, extending common courtesies such as “Good morning” or a nod as you pass others in the hallway says to them that they are not invisible to you.

Other demonstrations of respect could include asking employees for suggestions to improve operations and/or management. It’s another way of saying, “I respect and value your opinions.”

And never forget, meeting in private, with an employee who may have missed the mark says, “I respect you enough not to embarrass you in front of your co-workers…”

Recognition

Two powerful words are important in employee motivation… “Great Job!”

By recognizing the work of others, you motivate them to keep working. You’ll find that regularly giving verbal or written praise for a job well done goes a long way in making employees feel appreciated. If workers feel that they play an important part in the company by the work they provide, they are much more likely to seek ways to improve their performance.

Reward

While cash incentives are a sure way to put a smile on an employee’s face, there are other creative ways to motivate employees through “thoughtful” gestures.

For individual rewards, how about gift certificates for DVD rentals, music CD purchases, theme park tickets or “Dinner for 2″ at a local eatery?

For group or departmental appreciations, consider a “Leave Work 30 Minutes Early Next Friday” reward. Or once-a-month, spring for dessert treats in honor of those celebrating birthdays in that calendar month. You are limited only by your imagination and budget.

Placing respect, recognition and reward at the heart of your employee motivation efforts will serve to boost morale, increase productivity and positively affect the company’s bottom-line. A WIN-WIN-WIN situation for all.

(These are not original thoughts, I’ve seen this piece attributed to various writers.)

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How to Write a Eulogy

May 9, 2014
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I attended a funeral some time ago for a woman who had lived a good, long life. There were two eulogies given, one by a long-time friend and the other from a family member. It was interesting to hear the similar themes that came out as they spoke of someone who had played an important part [...]

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Enhance Your Langauge Skills for Successful Public Speaking

May 7, 2014
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Another essential skill for successful speakers is using the correct form of the language. Being limited to English, I can’t say what equivalent errors might exist in other languages. However, nothing can destroy your credibility as a speaker than the misuse of the language. Toastmasters International highlights the importance of correct language by appointing a Grammarian to listen to [...]

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7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking

May 5, 2014
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It takes a lot of preparation to craft the kind of speech or presentation that is going to grab your listener’s attention. Once the speech is crafted, you need to spend a lot of time practising, so as to make sure you keep their attention. Listeners don’t give their attention lightly and it doesn’t take [...]

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Tips for Communicating with Angry or Violent People

May 2, 2014
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A number of years ago I was involved in the termination of an employee. He was about eight inches taller than me and had 70 or 80 pounds on me. His supervisor delivered the bad news, we reviewed the termination process and documents and then stood to leave. Suddenly, he was standing toe to toe looking down [...]

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How to Write a Speech to Inform

April 29, 2014
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If you’ve ever told your spouse about your day at work, or explained how to make an omelet, you already have experience giving an informative speech. An informative speech can be used to tell people about something you’re interested in or to explain how to do something. If that sounds easy, it’s because it is. Just choose your [...]

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3 tips for a stress-free connected workplace

April 24, 2014
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(NC) Does your workplace stress you out? It may not be the everyday tasks, projects and deadlines, but rather the physical environment. Maybe your desk is too messy, or your colleagues are too loud. Perhaps your boss is always looking over your shoulder, the dated technology gives you anxiety, or you can’t stand the fluorescent [...]

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Learn to Stop to Keep Going

April 17, 2014
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Imagine getting behind the wheel of your car and driving continuously, without any thought to refueling or maintenance. It would run along for a while, but sooner or later something would bring the car to a halt. To keep a car going, you need to stop it periodically. Frequent stops are needed to add fuel. [...]

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Use Lists to Manage Your Life

April 15, 2014
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My wife is the queen of lists. She uses an iPHone 4s and can, a swipe and a couple of taps, pull up whatever information she needs to plan her next action. For example, she uses SplashShopper to track all our shopping lists. If we pop into Home Depot to pick up a gallon of paint, [...]

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