We all want to have high performance ratings. Not only does this increase our chance at a raise—or even a promotion!—emotionally, we need the satisfaction and fulfillment of knowing that we’re doing a good job. Here are some things that will help you get straight A’s in the corporate report card.
Take the initiative to solve a problem
You’re a hard worker but your company doesn’t just need mindless drones who blindly follow orders. To truly stand out from the rest, show how you can be a troubleshooter and a problem solver. If you’re working on a project, anticipate delays or problems and form back-up plans so that you can still meet the deadline. Look for ways to improve the process flow. And if something goes wrong, don’t just go to your boss and complain. Present possible solutions and arm with information so he can make the appropriate decisions.
Be a team player
You may be smart, efficient and productive, but if you can’t get along with your co-workers and staff, you won’t be able to accomplish your goals. Earn the respect and trust of your colleagues by being open-minded at meetings, giving credit where it’s due, and being considerate of people’s feelings. You can be firm without being a schmuck, and you will even be more productive when you are surrounded by people who are motivated, empowered, and aren’t spending their energies complaining about you behind your back.
Know the industry
Subscribe to the trade magazines, follow the Twitter or podcasts of industry leaders or experts, and monitor the industry trends and movements of your competitors. Your boss will be impressed by your knowhow of the industry, and these interesting tidbits are a great way to start conversations at business cocktails.
Bring a positive attitude to work
Never let yourself be dragged into office politics and backbiting, and steer clear of the typical grousing and complaining that most employees indulge in during lunch breaks. Yes, we understand the temptation to complain about the crazy hours and the low pay, but dwelling on the stress won’t make it to go away. Instead, focus on your work, and when a conversation is starting to look really negative, show your concern but end on a hopeful or positive note.
For example, “Oh yes, I feel bad about the budget cuts too. It’s really quite challenging to keep those marketing campaigns going, but I’m so proud of how creative the team has been. Did you see the ad studies that Jane did? She is such a good artist!” This attitude will also help you minimize your stress, which studies show can really affect productivity.
Expand your skills
Never, ever be complacent. You may be good at what you do, but there’s always a way to get better and improve your skills or deepen your knowledge. If you feel that you’ve learned all you can in one area, then use your knowledge of industry trends to see what kind of skills you may need in the future. Read up on it, sign up for classes, volunteer for projects that will let you hone those skills, and express to management that you want to grow in those areas. It sounds like a lot of work but aside from boosting your performance it can protect your career in a recession.