The Four Fruits of a Valuable Employee
What makes us a valuable employee? Often we think that our worth lies in the university degrees we have packed under our belt or the different job roles we have accumulated throughout our lives. It could also be the number of clients we have attracted to our business or the high sales figures that we have contributed towards in the sales department. But these do not necessarily qualify as the concrete foundation for what makes an exceptionally valuable employee.
Want to know what makes an employee a valuable employee? Take a careful look at yourself. Are you the type of person who co-workers enjoy being around? Do you meet your deadlines in a timely manner? Are you a slacker or are you a performer? Your fruits are the results of who you are and what you put out there. The qualities that you display to others are a direct representation of who you are and the quality of work that you are willing to produce.
We could hand you a plethora of things that makes an employee a valuable asset to any firm, small or large, but here are a few simple, but vital, attributes which we think each employee should possess in any work environment.
No one wants to work with someone who they cannot trust. Both in long-term and short-term business relationships, being transparent allows others to feel a sense of security in knowing that you wouldn’t risk the longevity and quality of the relationship based on your unwillingness to be honest with them from the forefront. It’s human nature to reject failure, so we appreciate that owning up to your mistakes is a difficult task. But it has to be done. Not only are you setting an example for fellow co-workers, it also allows you to come to terms with the fact that it’s okay to make mistakes! Doing so gives both you and others the opportunity to learn and grow, as problems are analyzed and solutions are created to better promote efficiency and teamwork.
Encouraging truthfulness also comes in the form of asking for help when you know you need it. This is a tricky one to overcome because we always want to get things right on our own. However, have you considered the fact that someone else may have a better idea of overcoming the challenge? Keep in mind that the time you take figuring out all possible solutions could be cut in half by simply asking for help. Remember, self-accomplishment can come in many different shapes and sizes.
The Silver Lining
Just like yawns, positivity is so contagious! Complimenting another’s outfit or saying ‘How are you?’ (and meaning it!) makes the world of a difference in anyone’s lives. Do co-workers consider you to be an unapproachable individual? Try making an oath to yourself to find at least three positive things to be thankful for at the end of each day. It’s also helpful to be aware of mind wandering which can lead to overthinking and unhappiness.
For those of you who find it difficult to put on a smile, consider tapping into the source of your negativity so that you can come to terms with and overcome it. A lighter load to carry is always a better load to carry, especially when assignments are piling up and deadlines are edging closer. Challenges at work will never be easier to overcome with a sour attitude. Neither will this approach put your team members at rest, nor your managers.
Gentleness can come in the form of not having such an overpowering or overwhelming personality. It could also mean not being overly proud or boasting in your work as strengths most often times shine through weaknesses. This does not mean that you get a pass at undermining yourself or making yourself seem insignificant. Rather, gentleness means strength under control.
A neat trick to implementing this quality in your life is by considering the needs of others in your work environment over your own. It doesn’t matter which position you are. Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the janitor at the Yankees stadium, you can proudly lead others by being a humble servant. Martin Luther explained it perfectly, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
The Virtue of Loyalty
An exceptional employee is one who seeks to do the right thing even when they are being placed under pressure to do the complete opposite. Some decisions involve tough calls to make, but less damage occurs when the right thing is done from the beginning. Your managers will appreciate you even more for looking out for the welfare of the company other than yourself. Managers also enjoy seeing employees who are not afraid to give credit where credit is due. Recognizing the hard work that your co-worker has contributed towards that big project is a sure way to foster team spirit and productivity.
Employees who don’t shy away from voicing their concerns and disagreeing with others tend to stick out above the rest. Even if it means voting against the majority, loyal employees will weigh both the pros and the cons as they look out for the company’s best interest. An employer does not need someone to agree with every single thing he or she says, but someone who isn’t afraid to share their opinions and say things that they sometimes don’t want to hear.
At the end of the day, some of these qualities do not come naturally to any of us. Progress and growth are signs that you are not only maturing as an individual but as a valuable employee as well. Just as a plant needs to be watered each day, you have to keep working at expanding on these features. Don’t be afraid to admit that there is a certain area within you that you may need to work on. Acknowledging that change is needed is the first step to being a better you and a better employee.
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