Put yourself in the position of the owner of your business or the leader of your organization. What qualities would you look for in the employee whom you would advance within your management structure? If you had to lay people off, what type of person would you release? What type would you keep?
Now put yourself in the position of the employee. How would your employer rate your services? The fact is it’s the “little things” you do and don’t do that have a direct impact on your raises, promotions, and influence within an organization. The way you are viewed will not only impact your success at your current place of employment, but it will also affect the recommendations and references that follow you if you leave.
Here are 15 “little things” that will increase your value to your employer and make you stand out as a person who takes pride in your job.
Become an Employee of Influence
1. Arrive Early and Stay Late. Arriving promptly at your designated start time and then hurrying out the door the moment your workday ends tells management your job is not your priority. You’ll make a positive impression if you arrive early and don’t rush out the door at the end of the day.
2. Skip occasional breaks. As a business owner, I was always impressed with employees who would work through their breaks when we had deadlines to meet. Their actions told me they realized the urgency and importance of completing the task and were willing to voluntarily forgo their break to get the work done.
3. Take pride in how you dress and groom yourself. If you want to be taken seriously at work, start with your appearance. This applies to Fridays, too. If management is not dressing down on Fridays, follow their lead and remain in professional dress on Fridays.
4. Leave your personal life at home. You may have a close work friend in whom you confide when you’re having personal difficulties, but don’t let the word spread about your personal problems. Also avoid communicating with your family and friends during the times you are being paid to do your job.
5. Be upbeat and friendly. For most of us our workplace is our home-away- from-home. As you go through your workday make it a point to keep your energy levels high, acknowledge people, and be friendly. Be known as the person who always has a positive attitude. It will make for a better work environment for everyone.
6. Cut the constant chit chat and do your work. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time with people who can’t keep their mouths shut when they should be focusing on their work. I have an even harder time when I am the one paying them.
7. Avoid speaking poorly of your co-workers. If your workplace really is your home-away-from-home, then why speak inappropriately of your co-workers? Speaking negatively of your co-workers will not only damage your relationships, but it will undermine your credibility. Instead, be the voice of encouragement, praise, and support.
8. Take pride in your written communications. Everything you type or write as an employee of a company is not only a reflection on your personal brand, but it’s also a reflection on the company’s brand.
9. Strive for excellence in your work. Be responsible and make sure you complete your responsibilities on time with excellence, even if it requires that you take some projects home.
10. Keep your workplace clean. No matter how much stuff seems to keep piling up on your desk, do your best to keep it organized. If someone’s workplace is messy and disorganized, why would they be any different?
11. Respond to emails after business hours. I am always impressed with people who check and respond to their business emails during non-business hours. It tells me they take their work seriously. Upper level management knows who’s contributing during non-business hours.
12. Stay collected when the pressure builds. How people handle themselves when their backs are against the wall reveals a lot about the person. Pressure reveals weaknesses and separates those who are ready for advancement from those who aren’t.
13. Take notes. Writing down what others say in meetings shows you are unwilling to run the risk of forgetting something. This works the same way when your waitperson writes down your order. Doesn’t it make you feel more assured when people write down their instructions?
14. Watch your social media brand. How your co-workers view your social media posts will have a huge impact on how they view you as a person. There is no distinction between your personal and professional life in the social media world. Don’t be fooled into thinking that because people aren’t connected with you, they won’t see your posts or photos.
15. Get involved. Show that you’re serious about your career by volunteering to lead department projects, or by getting involved with company fundraisers, or by offering to help with social activities.
There are many more “little things” you can do to stand out as someone worthy of respect and admiration if you will look for them. Pay close attention to the attributes of those senior to you in your organization. There’s a lot you can learn by observing successful people you respect.
What tips can you share? What are the things you respect about a co-worker? What are the things that cause you to lose respect for people you work with? Please share your experiences in the comment section below this post.
You may want to read the related posts below to enhance how you are viewed at work and to increase the value you bring to the market.
If you want to elevate your influence and credibility within your workplace, then build a brand for yourself that makes you stand out from your peers.
About the Author: Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 30 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are ranked #22 in America’s top 100 podcasts and #1 in the personal and development field.)