Not all workers are equal. If your company gets ready to do round of layoffs, you want to be in the group of people who are seen as vital and valuable. In this article, we are going to look at a few ways to increase the value you bring to your job in ways that are likely to get noticed.
1. Show up 5 minutes early
If your boss shows up at 9 am like clockwork, then getting to work at 8:59, yourself, is a very worthwhile 1-minute investment. Even if you have to arrive 5 minutes early, it is well worth it to be there before your boss if at all possible. Think about it this way: If your boss has to cut one employee and all other factors are equal, do you think he will cut the person who he sees come in a few minutes late or the one that is always there already working by the time he gets to the office and he isn’t sure how early they actually get there?
The amount of time you put into work isn’t directly related to your output, but most bosses don’t have any really good measurements of your output, so time becomes the de facto standard to measure how much you are doing. It may not be fair, but it is a game you can win by investing a few extra minutes each day.
2. Don’t gossip
In most cases, gossip isn’t going to do anything helpful for you. Most gossip is just going to waste your time. There may be some benefit in keeping track of people’s moods and events that will impact their jobs. For example, if one of your coworkers is fed up and getting ready to quit, it might not be bad to know that ahead of time. But you definitely don’t want to be the person sharing. If you share gossip about others, people won’t trust you with their own information.
3. Be the peacemaker
The ability to help people work through different views is very valuable. Work isn’t going to get done when people disagree, and efficiency is going to suffer when people are forced to do something against their will. If you can help bring about consensus and compromise, you help make everyone more efficient.
4. Share information freely
People often try to increase their own importance by not giving others information. This is a short-sighted strategy and will usually make people dislike you. If you want to be valuable, people need to enjoy working with you. Furthermore, if you only give people the bare minimum information that they ask for, they may feel like you are trying to make them fail.
One of the most annoying people I have ever worked with will spend 10 minutes explaining what he isn’t going to tell you (because he is too busy). If he would just tell you in the first place, it would have only taken five minutes. In his mind, he feels more important being “too busy” to talk to you.
You want to be known as an information hub–not an information dam.
5. Make other people look good
A lot of people operate with the idea that anything they do to make someone else look good must make them look bad. Giving kudos isn’t a zero sum game. Helping other people look good doesn’t necessarily hurt you. In fact, people who you’ve gone out of your way to help promote are more likely to give you credit for your work and help you when you need it. Working with a group of people who are actively trying to help you succeed is a much better condition than working with a bunch of people who think you are trying to take advantage of them.
You can make other people look good in a variety of different ways. Giving them credit is a great way to start. If your boss compliments you on a report you did and one of your co-workers helped, go ahead and tell your boss that your co-worker was a great help. Then tell your co-worker. “I told the boss that the report wouldn’t have been nearly as good without your input.”