As a business owner for 20 years, I am often perplexed about why people don’t strive to become the best and highest-paid employee in my company. After all, if you’re going to work, why not excel?
I meet people all the time who complain or quit their job because their boss was “mean.” Now, I’m not saying there aren’t bad bosses out there. In fact, I was one of them. I’ve made some terrible mistakes (and still do from time to time) as a leader and I’ve lost some great people because of it.
But in every relationship, there are two sides. Our responsibility as Christ followers in the workplace is to create a standard of excellence and honor. Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV) tells us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
Here are five practical ways to become the best employee in your company and create a win for your boss, your company, and yourself.
Ownership and confidence are qualities that bosses crave to see in their employees. Ask your leader(s) if you can have five minutes of their time. Ask questions about them, their history, their goals, and how you can best help them reach those goals. Ask them which top three items should be your focus. Let them know you are available at any time, and you can be counted on.
There is nothing more alarming to me than having a new staff member who doesn’t have any questions. That can only mean one of two things:
1. They’re too scared to ask and have low self-esteem (which is not good for the business), or
2. They are only there for a paycheck and to “barely get by.”
While your boss may not admit it, he or she is thinking it.
Schedule a five-minute meeting each week with your leader(s). Bring a notebook and three questions. Find out what your leader likes and stop guessing.
I always think I’m a great multitasker and I can do two or three things at once, but who am I kidding? Of course I can’t. And neither can you. We can only focus on one thing at a time, so it’s important to schedule time wisely. Be fully present in the moment, and put other distractions aside, knowing we’ll address them at the proper time.
When you’re at work, be at work. Be present. When you walk in the door, it’s showtime. Be all in.
John Maxwell once told his nephew to show up early, stay late, and work during lunch. In fact, he suggested bringing a bag lunch.
When you leave right at 5:00 PM your boss notices. And when you show up right on time your boss notices that, too. Here’s what we say to ourselves: “Unengaged. Not promotable. Just another follower. Start looking to replace.”
Make a change. Show up early and stay late. Get engaged. Get your job description out, master it, and then do more.
Creating magic simply means that you take responsibility for the atmosphere. You make people around you feel important.
Every day, intentionally look for something your coworkers do on a day-to-day basis and do it for them. Always be on the lookout for ways to add value to your coworkers! It might be taking the trash out of their office, offering to write a report for them that’s due, offering to pick up their lunch, getting them coffee. Look for ways to praise your coworkers publicly.
Don’t do it for just one or two people and form a clique, though. Cliques can destroy a company. Be inclusive. Create magic for everyone on the team.
Master all of these secrets, and you’re on your way to success. Will it happen overnight? Of course not. Your leaders are watching to see if this is a passing fluke or a real change worth investing more into.
With time, you’ll be unstoppable in your workplace!
Tina Black owns four award-winning Paul Mitchell Schools and co-owns three salons. She has spent countless hours becoming the leader, mentor, keynote speaker, and author of the BE series books. Her weekly podcast is The BE Series, featuring untold stories of leadership transformation. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook.