How to Become an Invaluable Employee
Becoming an invaluable or indispensable employee means always complying with the law. While every employer and/or supervisor will have their own priorities, following the guidelines set forth below are likely to make you an invaluable or indispensable employee. Such employees generally make more money in the long term, receive more and better employee benefits in the long term, are far more secure in their positions, get more promotions, and sometimes are asked to become partners or co-owners. Consider the following and become indispensable:
- Conduct yourself, at all times, as though your family owned the business that employs you.
- Never leave work a minute early. Outwork everyone every day.
- If you are an exempt employee, work more than eight hours each day and more than forty hours per week. Contribute to the success of your employer. Accomplish more than what is expected.
- Make yourself available to work overtime whenever needed. This demonstrates loyalty, commitment, and professionalism.
- Become the person who knows where to find everything needed to make the company function.
- When your supervisor is required to leave the office, make certain he or she has everything needed including important phone numbers, files, etc.
- Always check with your supervisor ten or fifteen minutes before leaving for lunch, or the end of the day, to see if he or she needs anything before you go.
- Be reliable. Remember, there are no degrees of reliability. You are either reliable or unreliable. Develop a reputation for being reliable.
- Be loyal to your employer. Remember, there are no degrees of loyalty. You are either loyal or not loyal. Loyalty does not mean you cannot disagree with a decision, but once a decision is made, you must do you best to be supportive.
- Maintain a positive attitude at all times. Few people, including supervisors, want to be around people that have a negative attitude. Don’t be argumentative even when you disagree with someone.
- Do not complain. Make suggestions for improvements.
- Take classes and attend seminars in order to improve your knowledge and skills. This includes your written and verbal communication skills. Do your best to master the English language.
- Join professional organizations that will help you learn and improve your skills.
- Anticipate and solve problems. Anyone can tell their supervisor that a problem exists. Indispensable employees help develop solutions to problems. Leaders solve problems.
- Find ways to save your employer money. Focus on your employer’s profitability. Suggesting a way to save even a small amount of money, or a way to improve the operation, demonstrates your commitment and loyalty.
- Always make new members of the staff feel welcome and help them get off to a good start. Assist your co-workers to the extent possible. Become known as a team player who is looking at the big picture and what benefits the company. Be willing to share your knowledge.
- Keep your personal life separate from your professional life. Employers are not positively impressed when personal issues result in an employee taking unscheduled time off, being late, or becoming preoccupied with their own issues.
- Find ways to make your employer more valuable to its customers and/or clients.
- Maintain a professional, conservative appearance at all times. Dress for the position you want, not for the position you currently hold. Do not dress down for “Casual Fridays”.
- Develop special skills that others in the company do not possess.
- Keep your employer’s mission statement in mind at all times and do your best to help accomplish it.
- Avoid gossip and respect privacy. Keep sensitive information to yourself. Exercise good judgment and be trustworthy.
- Don’t be hesitant to ask questions about your job or your employer, but don’t become a pest in the process. While gathering important information is necessary, you should not waste your supervisor’s time. Balance is important.
- Do what you can to make your supervisor look good to his or her supervisor and clients/customers.
- Volunteer to take on jobs that others either won’t do, or don’t want to do. Demonstrate your loyalty with action and dedication.
- Make your communications to your supervisor accurate, but brief.
- Always tell the truth, even if it temporarily lands you in hot water.
- Review your job description regularly and make certain you are not ignoring even the smallest parts of it.
- Learn to manage your time and avoid procrastination in order to maximize your effectiveness and productivity. Learn and practice self-discipline.
- Never tell or email tasteless, political, or religious jokes or cartoons to anyone in the office, or remotely connected to the business.
- Learn to take directions gracefully and take written notes for follow-up purposes.
- Develop a “never give up” attitude.
- Follow the Golden Rule at all times.
- Don’t ask for a pay raise. Ask for a performance review. If the review is positive, your compensation will almost always be increased without your having to ask.
If you follow all or most of the suggestions made, you will be considered an invaluable or indispensable employee by the vast majority of employers and/or supervisors and should be rewarded accordingly. Rarely, will you be disappointed, but if you are, you can always go on to a better opportunity. Remember, you have the power to determine how other people think of you.