Much of our time as employees is spent wondering how our bosses can make us better or make us feel safer in our job. We look to our leadership to take care of us, give us bonuses, recognize and give us credit for what we’re doing. While that might seem normal to most, it can be a problem in many organizations. In good and successful organizations, employees work because they are inspired and motivated to perform. Employees in good organizations own the work they do, and they are proud of it. They don’t work for recognition, and they don’t work because they want credit. They work hard and perform well because they want their organization to succeed – not the other way around.
4 Ways to Be a Better Employee
You shouldn’t rely on your employer to make you a good employee. That doesn’t mean that your employer doesn’t play an important role in your job satisfaction, but it’s time we take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves why we spend at least a third of our day at work. If you don’t know the answer to this, it’s time to find it. Here are some things that might help you find ways to be a better employee, and not worry about finding a better boss.
1. Build Trust
Trust is such an important aspect of life. When people trust you, things tend to go well. You don’t need to be asked 3 times if you can finish on time, and you don’t need micromanagement. When your supervisor asks you to get something done and you deliver and meet their expectations, you’ve built trust. If you don’t build trust, no one believes what you say. If you tell your supervisor you will take on a task, they will be weary about giving you the opportunity and then feel like they must micromanage you. Everyone wants to work with someone they trust, trust builds confidence and that makes you a better employee. How do you build trust? Do what you say you will do and be where you say you will be, it’s that simple. People will seek out the employees they can trust in the organization, that is who you should want to be.
2. Connect with Others
Don’t be the lone wolf. Sure, holding all of your cards close to your chest is a good way to ensure job security but it doesn’t make you a good employee… it makes you a single point of failure. No employer wants super talented people that are not willing to share their talent with others. There has been an ongoing debate over who is the greatest basketball player of all time, is it LeBron? Kareem Abdul Jabbar? or Michael Jordan? I don’t know that we will ever have a clear answer to this debate; however, Michael Jordan might have been the best leader and teammate ever. Jordan was notorious for pushing his teammates hard and getting them to rise to the occasion. Jordan made his teammates better, and in the process his team had great success (six NBA titles). Connect with others, get to know people on your team and in your organization and it will make you a better employee.
3. Learn to Adapt
Learning to adapt to change in the workplace is one of the key success traits in any employee. Stable work conditions do not necessarily make it a good situation. Companies have to adapt and evolve over time. If you can’t adapt with your company, you could lose your job. Think about all of the changes employers have had to make over the last year with the COVID pandemic. Restaurants have had to change to delivering and preparing food ahead of time for delivery. Other businesses have had to adapt to a remote/work from home mode of business. Embracing technology and getting good at it is a key trait of a good employee.
4. Give Credit
Lastly, give credit where credit is due. The worst type of employee is the kind that takes credit all for themselves instead of sharing it with deserving team members. Did you work on something as a team? Then give them some credit. If your teammate came up with a great idea and someone gives you kudos, let them know where the credit is due. By lifting up your fellow employees and giving people credit that they deserve, it will make you a great employee. Take some time to evaluate how you are as an employee, look in the mirror, it might be tough. Then use these tips to become a better employee. Your company will love you for it and so will your co-workers.