The most valuable employee is not necessarily the most experienced, confident, or even the smartest employee. A company’s most valuable (or at least a boss’ favorite) is an employee that plays well with others. People skills and an agreeable personality are two of the most useful things that any employee can have. However, this does not mean that bringing your office donuts will instantly turn you into the most useful aspect of the company. Truly useful people skills are a bit more complicated than people pleasing, so today we are going to unpack what makes a truly personable employee.
Initiative- When there is something that needs to get done, you do it before you are asked. Managers often end up having to waste a lot of their own time telling people what to do- often giving them tasks that should just get done. Employees who beat them to the punch, and do necessary tasks before they are asked are always held in high esteem. That being said, if you are going to take initiative you must also be willing to take responsibility. If something goes wrong on a task that you were not explicitly given you must be willing to own up to that.
Integrity- If you say you will do something you will do it. This is imperative. The worst employee is the employee that makes a lot of empty promises, as it throws off the entire work place. If people think something is going to get done and later find out later that it hasn’t, or only half of it got finished, it creates far more work than if no one started the project. This means that you need to know how much work you can actually do, how many projects you can actually take on. Self- knowledge is crucial to integrity. Know yourself, know what you can do, and do what you say you will.
Respect- Respect rests on understanding your role. Respect means that you don’t challenge your bosses, but also means that you show your co-workers respect. This means that you don’t pawn off your work on others, you don’t act like a superior to people at your level, and you respect the fact that this is a workplace. Respecting the workplace means that you don’t use company time to gossip about people’s personal lives. Spending company time gossiping shows a lack of respect for the workplace (and everyone in it), and a disrespectful employee is a problematic employee.
Thoroughness- If you see something that could be done better- you make a proposal, not a vague suggestion. If you have a task, you complete it. Everything you do you do well, be it big or small. There is nothing vague or confusing about your work, everything you do is complete.
If you structure your attitude at work to account for these four things, you will be an essential and extremely professional employee. Making and keeping yourself accountable for everything that you do will make you a crucial member of any team that you work for. Follow this advice and you will do beautifully at your next (or current) job!