As humans, we crave importance and belonging in our surroundings. With family, friends, acquaintances or colleagues, being valued contributes to a sense of well-being and productivity. And when you’re spending over eight hours working in an office every day, it’s natural to want to feel appreciated by those you work with and those you work for.
However, this appreciation isn’t always easy to come by. There are times when an employee may be giving it their all, but they aren’t feeling admired or outwardly recognized. They may feel as if they’re contributing to the company’s growth by shouldering the toughest of responsibilities, but they aren’t getting any positive feedback or praise. How do you go about demonstrating your value to your company or your boss while staying true to yourself?
All you need to do is shift your perspective. Here are a few ways:
The quality of work you produce is paramount and the most visible way of displaying your contributions to your role in a workplace. Do your job and do it well, and make it a habit to go the extra mile to achieve the best quality. Ensure that your projects are complete and are meeting deadlines. Go back and carefully double-check your work before handing it in. Check your spelling, your numbers and your formatting - the devil is in the details. You’ll quickly build a reputation of someone whose work is topnotch and doesn’t cut corners.
Sometimes even if you do the best work, it doesn’t speak for itself. In addition to producing good work, you must speak up when necessary. Make sure that managers understand the effort you put into your job and the results you produce. A bit of modest bragging will not only help you come promotion time, but it will also help discredit any attacks levied against you. Provide the right amount of information about yourself, but don't beat your accomplishments to death. Too many trips to the boss's office may work against you.
When you pitch your ideas to management, be prepared to defend your views and also to receive criticism. Management will challenge you simply to test your level of enthusiasm for the idea and its viability. There are a lot of variables to consider, and your bosses want to know that you've thought about them. Be vocal about any bottlenecks or challenges you’re facing, along with your proposed solutions. If you support your ideas with solid research and show some passion, the higher-ups will be more likely to consider and embrace your concept.
Too many people don't understand the basic operations of their companies. Familiarize yourself with the organizational chart and reporting structures, and understand how the company does business. Study and understand the financials and key influencing events. You never know where your life may lead, and your knowledge of the company and industry will give you a leg up over others. Learn as much as you can along the way, even though what you're learning may not seem relevant at the time.
Punctuality is not limited to reaching the office on time, although that is important. It also means that you’re making your meetings on time (thereby valuing others’ time) and meeting your commitments and keeping your word, including doing your allotted work in a timely manner. It demonstrates that you manage your time well and makes you dependable. It also frees you up to take on other challenging projects that may otherwise may not have come your way. Consistency and the respect of time signify efficiency and is almost always noticed.
The way you carry yourself has a great impact on the environment around you, particularly at work. Those who appear confident generally climb the ladder faster since it shows that they are sure of their skills. A basic change in your body language such as improving your posture, standing up straight or smiling more often can make an instant impact without even having to say anything.
What you say and how you behave says a lot about you. Always address your peers, regardless of position, with the respect that you would expect from others. Be mindful of the type of language you use, and always show maturity in your conversations with others. Always resolve disputes calmly and without losing your cool, and congratulate someone on an achievement. Practice email etiquette, fulfill your commitments and always return phone calls. Always try to be a good person and treat others the way you would like to be treated.
The value of networking in business goes beyond making money or sales. Showing an interest in your colleagues’ lives, challenges and triumphs makes you seem empathetic and fosters relationships which can be invaluable. Good relationships at work makes the environment more fulfilling and contributes to personal growth. Positive interaction can also give you an insight on how other people and departments operate, and allows you to become an ally to those around you.
Earning praise from your boss may bring you short-term joy, but true value lies in the company considering you someone who enriches the environment. They say that building a good reputation takes a lifetime, but it doesn’t have to be that long. By being diligent in your work and interacting honestly, people around you will soon consider you an asset and someone worth rooting for.