Whether you are a new employee, or you’ve been in your current position for a while, there are ways to make your job more rewarding and successful. Here are 8 effective practices that every employee should consider.*
1. Positive Attitude. Try to come to work every day demonstrating interest, enthusiasm, and positive affect. Research clearly shows that positivity and enthusiasm help your image as a great employee (and as a great leader). “Nobody likes a Debbie Downer” [Thanks, Andy & Nereida].
2. Reasonable Expectations. Having unreasonably high expectations (or too low) about your job and organization can lead to feeling defeated and decrease motivation. Keep your expectations reasonable, and adjust them as you find out more information about the team or your organization as you collectively move forward.
3. Manage Impressions. Always consider the impression you are making on others. You are building your personal reputation and your “identity” with everything you do. If you are new, strive to make a positive first impression. And, if you are leaving the organization, do so on a positive note. Don’t “put people on blast.” [Thanks, Clara Riggio].
4. Build Relationships. Building good relationships with colleagues, bosses, and supervisees is crucial to success. Become an effective mentee or mentor. “People will go to your funeral, not for your accomplishments, but for the great relationship you had with them.” [Thanks, Andy].
5. Courageous Followership. Work with your boss to achieve her/his goals and make yourself valuable. If your supervisor is on the wrong path, or doing something wrong, have the courage to stand up to him or her and try to correct course.
6. Workplace Savvy. This is an important key to success for any employee. Learn how the organization or team really works. Find out about “the rules of the game.” How do things get done? Who are the go-to people for various tasks and tools?
7. Organizational Culture. Each work team and organization has its own culture. The differences may be subtle, but important. Pay attention and become a part of it. Study communications and interactions. It’s understanding the “around here-ism” How are things done around here?
8. Live It and Appreciate It. Reflect on what you have learned from your experiences at work. Even if it turns out to be a bad experience, you will learn something, gain skills, and understand more about the complexities of the workplace.
* My thanks to my coauthors on this post – the Fall, 2018 CMC Silicon Valley Program cohort [Alanna DeMuro, Anthony Deras, Lude Rong, Naveen Shastri, Yujia Yao] and SVP Coordinators, Andrew Ceperley & Nereida Moussa.
Ira Chaleff (2009). The Courageous Follower (3rd edition). Berrett-Kohler.
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