Johnson: Be the Best Employee

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Tips on how to make yourself indispensable at work

We all want to be great but what does it truly mean to be a valuable employee – one that managers love, bosses value and companies will do anything to keep? A well-rounded employee will always be the MVE (most valuable employee). And, while there are many, many traits to make a great, or terrible, employee, here are some essential traits that really stand out across the board.

1. Be reliable.  The first way to show responsibility and reliability is to show up to work on time. Make sure you are working within the timeframes your managers have set, and that even means making sure you leave on time. Remember, time is money.

2. Be a productive and contributing member of the team.  Get your tasks completed in a timely and efficient manner. Do what is expected of you at work by completing assignments and you will be valued. Also, be a good team player, completing your assignments within deadlines so you don’t hold up other employees and help out your coworkers when schedules allow.  Bottom line – be productive.

3. Communicate well and directly.  Be able to communicate well and express yourself in a clear manner, in writing and speaking. Remember, communication also includes nonverbal communication so be sure to check your facial expressions and body language and present yourself with good posture and a firm handshake. In today’s world of technology, learn to put down your phones and smart devices and make eye contact, particularly when speaking to others.

4. Go Above and Beyond When you are tasked with a job or project, your leader or boss handed that to you becuase he or she trusts you to do it and do an excellent job. That means you need to put in maximum effort to exceed their expecations, which are probably pretty high already. But the work will pay off not only in proving to yourself that you can do it, but your higher ups will notice your effort and appreicate it.

5. Exude positivity.  Sure, we all have bad days but make sure you are looking for the positive aspects of your job. No one likes to be around people who are pessimistic, negative or unhappy. You don’t have to fake excitement but take unpleasant tasks head on and complete them, quietly solving the challenges ahead. Remember, attitude is contagious so be the positive influence in the office.

6. Willingness to learn.  There may be times your role at work will change, perhaps when a coworker departs or when the company undergoes changes, so a willingness to learn new things, and new roles, is key to being a great asset. You never know, learning a new skill could put you in position for a promotion or make you more marketable.

7. Honesty.  It goes without saying that being honest is an essential part of having your coworkers and bosses trust you. But that doesn’t just mean not lying to them. It means speaking up when discussing uncomfortable or difficult items. If you feel you’re in over your head, let someone know. If you think you can do better, say so.

Lisa Johnson is President and CEO of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce