A shrunken economy, government hassles, high expectations by both employers and employees—how can a business survive in these tough times? Employees frazzled by the seemingly bottomless pit of employer expectations, anxiety over job performance combined with lack of job security and rising prices. Employers shake their heads, dealing with these headaches and so much more. Do employees understand the herculean responsibility running a business is? Can we all just get along? Of course, we can! It is time to get creative, it is time to set the right mindset, and remember to value contributions. After all, with all the time spent at work, it makes sense to build solid relationships.
As an employee in today’s marketplace, become keenly aware that you are your own brand. It is solely up to you to position yourself within your organization as a stand out worthy of respect and reward. Compensation is based on three factors: perceived value, the actual value you deliver and the ease at which you can be replaced. Improve one or all three of these areas to increase your income. Do you stand out in anyway, or are you just “kinda there”. Consider stepping out and doing something to stand out in a positive way. Are you a valued member of the team? If not, why?
Excellence in time management will help you build your personal brand value by becoming more effective and efficient. Before starting any activity think about whether it is the best use of your time and energy? Be selective. Sometimes it pays to slow down for a moment in order to speed up. Do not allow the urgent to overrun the important. Doing the right thing is more important than doing things right. If you know what you either want, or need to accomplish and are comfortable with that knowledge, focusing effort towards getting it will begin to come naturally.
High achieving leaders spend their days thinking of ways to be more effective. They are meta-thinkers considering how they think and act, with the intention of making improvements. Managing attitude not only leads to higher productivity but also higher well-being. Employees are highly attuned to their boss’s emotions day to day.
Learn to build rapport. Listening well leads to rapport, rapport leads to respect, respect leads to good work. An employee that steps forward to share a valid problem only to be ignored is the death knoll of productivity. Frustrated by working conditions, they often start to slack off or plan their exit, which of course, means they are working less diligently. Replacing workers is an expensive lost opportunity cost for a business owner.
It literally pays to become an attentive listener and leader. It is a good return on investment to take the time to understand employee’s needs. They are not robots. They are hardworking people with multiple responsibilities and the life-blood of your business. The job as a manager or business owner is to manipulate the work environment to highlight an employee’s strength. If everyone within a working environment feels in control of their lives and happy at work, profits soar. If anyone stops working hard, it becomes a drain. If there is a problem, do not ignore it. Listen attentively and come to a reasonable conclusion for all involved.
If communicating effectively is a struggle, take an approach you would like to incorporate and begin to teach it to others. It is a great way to internalize a concept. Remember, as an employer you rely on your people. How you fit in with them makes all the difference in your effectiveness.
Self Determination Theory (SDT) states there are three basic needs that foster psychological growth:
- Competence (need to feel effective),
- Relatedness (meaningful connection with others),
- Autonomy (feeling of conscious choice).
Do these states exist in your office? Every day is a gift (that is why it is called the “present”).
Both employer and employee have the responsibility to be their best. It is like a symbiotic relationship. Both sides need to be supportive or courageous enough to acknowledge it is time to move on. Life is too short to waste time.