How to Stand Out At Work Without Standing Out

Successful careers start with standing out from the crowd.

But, many workers will contribute only what their job requirements call for and not perform much more. A select few will work really hard at their job and do extremely well.  However, there is a small subset of workers who really put themselves out and chip in in any way possible. To advance with your employer, you must be a member of that group.

So, what are some ways you can stand out at work?

How to stand out at work

If you perform your work duties well, you will be recognized as a worker good at his job. However, when it comes time to promote, the management team looks for leaders. Leaders are those workers who are totally involved with the success of the company. They pay attention to their job and responsibility but also are dedicated to the entire business, its goals and vision.

What other activities must an employee take on in addition to his job to stand out?

Many people do not realize that while they were hired to do a job, Management believes it’s also their responsibility to do whatever it takes for the company to flourish. You need to continuously find ways to save or earn the company money, to be get ahead and to demonstrate your value to the firm.

Here are the top 10 ways you can stand out at work and advance your career:

1.Create Your Own Side-projects

Excelling at an assigned project is expected.  Excelling at a side-project helps you stand out.  Create a project and work on it on your own time at home. Your side project will make you ‘that guy.’

It is especially true if you create something for customers.  Test out your ideas for a special product or deliver a unique service with a particular client in mind.  Management will appreciate you even more especially if it locks-in a customer to your company or if the new product or service idea can then be sold to other customers

2. Do Things Without Being Asked

If you see that something needs to be done and nobody is doing it, DO IT. It’s always surprising how few employees do this.

It’s really quite simple: people who step in and help out stand out.

3. Do MORE Than What Your Job Requires

Go beyond offering “standard help.” I’m always impressed in a supermarket if I ask a stocking clerk where an item is located and s/he takes me directly to it rather that saying, “It’s on aisle 8.”  So, at work, don’t give a standard reply on how to do it.  Do it for them!

No matter your job, going above and beyond your standard job duties will help you grow your career.

4. Take the Lead When You Can

Someone must be the leader. Why shouldn’t it be you? If it’s not you, still contribute at a high level. Provide ideas and suggestions. Challenge things that do not make sense. If you do this respectfully, you will stand out.

Once again, silence does not get you noticed; it gets you overlooked. Engage in your career and try to become the leader where possible, but don’t step on anyone’s toes while you’re trying to take over the lead.

Talk it up and do your job as if you already ARE a leader there. If you do not agree with something, ask questions.

5. Be Proactive

Learn all about the organization and how your role can bring maximize benefit to it.  Learn a skill that will help you stand out.  For example, you might become the person everybody goes to for assistance with developing an important presentation to Management or for help with operating a particular computer software.

Anticipate problems that might arise and think about ways to fix them before they even occur. Do not wait for things to happen and be a “reactive” employee.

Most workers know they could do more if they wanted to. So be that person and come up with a plan.  But plans are not enough.  Put the plan into action and mention what you’re doing to your boss.

6. Always Offer Ideas and Suggestions

Start with your own job and if you have an idea or two about how it can be done more efficiently, suggest it. Even if your manager balks at it, keep making suggestions wherever you can.

Eventually, one of your ideas will gain support and you’ll make a difference at work. Sometimes the smallest ideas can have the greatest impact.

7. Do Not Sit Quietly in Meetings

Every meeting has employees who talk and those who do not. Strengthen the discussion any way you can and contribute at a high level. When management is in meetings with you, they take notice of the contributors.  But don’t talk just for the sake of hearing your voice.  Then you will stand out as a blowhard that managers will want to muzzle.

Leaders are not silent in meetings. Advance in your career by being active in it.

8. Be Dependable and Reliable

Show up on time every day. Let appropriate people know well ahead of time if you must be late or absent.  Be on time, whether you’re arriving for work, returning from lunch, going to staff meetings, or completing tasks.

Be prepared. Come to work willing to pay attention, follow directions, and do the job.

Do what you say you’ll do.

Keep your work area organized. This habit shows your boss and co-workers that you’re in control of what you’re doing.

Review the quality of your own work.  It shouldn’t take your supervisor to point out your errors or faulty judgement.

9. Work Harder Than Anyone Else

Nothing is an alternative for hard work. Observe the people working around you: How many of them are working as hard as they could?

Very few.

The best way to stand out is to out-work all your co-workers.  It’s also the easiest way because you’ll be the only one trying.

10. Always Offer to Help Others

Become the “go-to” person—the person that can be counted on to help. If you are that person, it will go a long way!

What-if your company announced layoffs. An employee who is the “go-to” person and adds value to the organization will be considerably less likely to be laid off than an employee who just sits quietly and does their job.  A quiet employee that does their job well doesn’t stand out as an indispensable employee.

By offering to help others and having expertise, you’ll stand out as an impressive employee—one most companies wouldn’t want to lose.

Conclusion

When you are at work, always seek out ways to improve the company. Become an integral part of taking your company to the next level.

If you show your interest lies far beyond yourself, your specific job responsibilities, and your salary, you’ll stand out and you’ll be setting yourself up to become a future leader in the company.

Mental Trauma of COVID and 6 Steps to Protect Employees

According to the Washington Post, “Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. A federal emergency hotline for people in emotional distress registered a more than 1,000 percent increase in one month compared with the same time in 2019. In one month, roughly 20,000 people texted that hotline, run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.”

Inspirational Quote Pic

It’s terrifying to realize a pandemic such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) remains around the world. The different stages of a pandemic can provide panic and anxiety. No one knows just how widespread or deadly the novel coronavirus will end up being.  But being proactive about your workers’ mental health can help to keep their mind and body healthy.

In the following information, we have detailed suggestions on ways to protect yourself and your staff.

One of the first steps you can take is to recognize the things you can control. Practicing self-care such as seeking professional help from a licensed mental health professional and finding ways to manage stress. Your means of coping with stress and anxiety goes a long way in managing your mental health. Here are some ways to help you ease anxiety surrounding COVID-19.

1. Help Employees Practice Good Self-Care

Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in some form of exercise may seem obvious since we were taught them as early as grammar school.  But they are always good steps to helping your personnel stay as physically and psychologically healthy as possible during stressful times.

Good self-care also keeps your workers’ immune system healthy which means eating well, sleeping well, and managing stress.

2. Peace of Mind

Practice recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, The World Health Organization, and other excerpts to curtail transmission of COVID-19 still include wearing a mask when going out, keeping at least 6-foot distance from others, and washing your hands regularly.

If you live in an area where the COVID-19 infection rates are very high, try to stay home as much possible, avoid crowds, and when do you go out practice the methods of safety detailed above. There are always steps you can take to decrease risk. Be aware that steps like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping social distance remind you to focus on the things you can control.

Knowing you are doing everything possible to keep safe gives a lot of peace of mind.

3. Professional Help

If your staff’s  mental health is being affected by the stress and anxiety of COVID-19 then they may need to seek support.

Workers experiencing burnout should reach out to their Human Resources department. Frequently supervisors are not familiar with what benefits are offered, particularly relating to mental health. But HR personnel are more aware of what’s available from a company and will be able to help obtain those resources.

It might mean to seek the help of a mental health professional. A licensed mental health professional can help you manage stress while helping you to make the best personal decisions. The good news is thousands of therapists are now using remote methods, such as video conferencing, telemedicine so you can talk to someone right from home or your workplace (in private, of course).

High anxiety and stress can cause some workers to adopt unproven or unsafe prevention methods. Some of these methods can be harmful to you and others. It’s important to make sure any actions you take are truly beneficial.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller

4. Develop an Action Plan

Be aware that increased depression and anxiety is probably going to occur with your workers. So, plan for it. If they start to feel sad, overwhelmed, frustrated or anxious – talk with them, have them write about it, just get it out, do not let it fester inside them. Be prepared and make a plan. Who to talk to?.

Another important issue is that employees often adopt the coping strategies they observe in their bosses.  Supervisors who show anxiety and stress during a pandemic may end up projecting the anxiety right along to their subordinates.

5. Read News From Trustworthy Sources And Limit Media Consumption

Avoid media outlets that provoke stress or focus on issues that can’t be controlled. Instead, turn to sources that give reliable information. One reputable source is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They provide helpful tips to keep you and your co-workers safe during these unprecedented times.

Watching media stories that talk about how fast an illness is spreading, or the death toll will increase stress and anxiety. Limit your media consumption to a certain time frame or a certain number of stories.

It is helpful to stay informed, but you shouldn’t allow yourself to be bombarded with anxiety-provoking news all day. The most important actions are to keep you and your workers properly informed, calm, and healthy as possible.

6. The Bottom Line

Remember one thing.  People are strong.  We will get through this.  It is not forever and most important do not project what has not yet happened. If you are healthy and safe, don’t worry about what might happen.  Get vaccinated when it is your turn.  Stay in the moment and enjoy the present.

Need Help Finding Top Performers for your Team?

Call Flexicrew. As one of  the Southeast’s top staffing agencies, we have 14 years experience serving employers – and helping them find truly exceptional people. Contact us today to learn more!

Increased Resilience Offsets Rising Workplace Pressure

Resilience in the Face of Rising Workplace Pressures

Resilience in the work environment is being discussed more often these days and in the headlines more frequently.  Due to Coronavirus plus improving technology, rapid change and disruption, many organizations have a work environment with urgent deadlines.  Here employees have to work under great pressure to deliver the work in less time. Employees are expected to ensure that their work is of high quality to help their employer become the market leaders. They should be aware of the latest trends and adapt to them, manage more effectively and work harder to deliver better results.

workplace stress collage

For the current business conditions it is necessary for teams and their leaders to be more sensitive and respond quickly to the desires and requirements of their customers. They should also be able to deal with failure, rejection and new challenges effectively.

Stress Reduction vs. Employee Resilience

If a business wishes to retain its edge under these conditions, it should be able to innovate. The leaders should take the initiative personally and work harder without adversely affecting their health or that of their team. Being resilient can greatly help a business and its management succeed in the current business situation. To make the work environment more resilient, instead of focusing on stress reduction, which many organizations are trying, it is advisable to lead teams more effectively and help build team and individual resilience.

Tips for Building Resilience

Some tips which will help make the members of the team at the workplace more resilient are listed below:

  • Only focusing on doing the work without thinking or planning can lead to over-working and fatigue
  • Identify what causes stress which makes it difficult for employees to focus on their work. The leaders should understand how the increase in the work output expected, change in the pace or rate of doing work will affect employees’ concentration
  • The team should be able to adapt to changing conditions to remain relevant. The work which a team member was doing to-date, is likely to change in the next five years, so that they remain useful for the business. The employee should be willing to adapt to the change in work profile and also improve his skills to adapt to changing work requirements
  • Employees should be open to feedback and use it constructively to improve performance
  • It is important to accept failure and use it learn and grow when there is more pressure. If the team is discouraged by failure, it will not innovate to prevent further failure, and this will adversely affect growth.

At a time when there is a lot of uncertainty and hardship in the economy, it is important to ensure that all the team members feel that they are working together, their concerns and heard by the team leaders who understand them and will help resolving issues. This will help a business achieve its goals of productivity which are linked to employee well being and performance.

Below are some resources available to help workers dealing with work or personal anxiety or stress and help build resilience.

Resources

If the pandemic is taking a toll on your team’s mental health (or your own), know that you’re not alone. CNN identifies some resources that can help those in the United States:

  • The Crisis Text Line is available by texting 741741. Trained volunteers and crisis counselors are staffed 24/7, and the service is free.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to disasters. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • For the Frontlines offers health care professionals and essential workers free 24/7 crisis counseling and support for workers dealing with stress, anxiety, fear or isolation related to Coronavirus.
Additional Resources

For more support, check out CNN’s guide to giving and getting help during the pandemic.

For more information on resilience, check Flexicrew online or connect with a Flexicrew professional 866.720.FLEX (3539).

7 Leadership Qualities Of Great Business Leaders – to Beat Pandemic

 

 The Leadership Qualities Of Great Business Leaders

A few short weeks ago we were all living our lives and conducting business normally, but suddenly everything turned emphatically worse.  We had to quickly figure out how to respond to this crisis as it pertains to our unique business circumstances.

As we look forward to loosening restrictions, and the worst part of the pandemic to pass, we are still faced with many critical business decisions.  Now, more than ever companies need strong leadership to make those tough decisions to achieve business recovery.

In researching back-to-business success criteria, we came across Brian Tracy, an Internationally renowned speaker, writer and counselor on leadership, selling, self-esteem, goals, strategy, creativity, and success psychology.  After decades of researching and training executives and developing insights into what makes great business leaders, we included his infographic to quickly, simply and succinctly highlight 7 ways to recognize and copy the leadership qualities necessary to overcome for your company the dual challenges of COVID-19 and the economic recession it has thrown us into.

Here are Tracy’s findings on leadership which not only apply in these uncertain times but will help you lead your organization when conditions get back to a more normal state.

7 Leadership Qualities Infographic

 

Summary

If you buy-into these 7 qualities, print them out and pin above your computer.  Better yet, post them around your work environment for employees to focus on how to act to best navigate through the COVD-19 crisis.

The business owners and management that follow these prescriptions and get the most out of every dollar spent and demonstrate the impact of their decisions on revenue, profit and cash will be well positioned to come out of this chaotic environment looking like a star.

If you need assistance finding individuals who possess these leadership qualities, contact one of our recruitment professionals Today.

6 Tips That Help Improve Managers’ Listening Skills

Helping to improve managers’ listening skills will better engage a work team.  Managing subordinates is a difficult task. It requires discipline, patience, and hard work. The key to being a good manager is great communication skills. Listening is half of communication, and here is a list of six tips that will help to improve managers’ listening skills.    

Active managers' listening skills

Look at the subordinate

Making eye contact is one of the important practices to take on when supervisors communicate with subordinates. It is not surprising, since humans are the only primates who have white on their eyeballs. The other primates’ entire eyes are black.  Humans have a big contrast between their eyes and the pupil. It makes us capable of noticing what the other humans are focusing on. Thus, looking at the speaker is an indication, that the manager is focused on what a worker is saying. If managers avoid eye contact, it is a clear giveaway to the subordinate that the manager is not listening.   

Don’t interrupt

Interrupting an employee is not only rude, but it also makes it obvious that the boss who interrupted is not really listening to what the worker has to say. Besides, interrupting others gives an impression that what you have to say is more important, than what they have to say. As a manager, it is very important to show that everyone is equal and employees’ words have value. Even if supervisors want to make a quick point in the middle of an employee’s discussion, it’s important not to interrupt. Wait until after they are finished and then come back to the remark you wanted to make.   

Give subordinates time to express themselves

It should be obvious, that some problems require more time to explain than others. Also, some people need more time to say what they think. A good listener-manager will grasp this and will give as much time as needed for a subordinate to fully and comprehensibly express their thoughts. Managers should not hurry things. They need to be sure to sacrifice their time if it is required.  Because this sacrifice will pay off by making it a higher quality conversation.    

Focus on understanding

It can be easy to listen, but it is hard to listen correctly. It is a waste of time for both an employee and a manager if they don’t try to comprehend what the other says. For a manager, it is especially important to focus on understanding what the worker has to say because, without full comprehension, right decisions cannot be made. A manager must try to make an effort while listening to catch every word and phrase, and try to comprehend what points are being made by the employee.    

Suspend your judgement

Judging others is easy. Thinking through and solving problems is difficult. When listening to an employee, try to avoid judgment. Backlashing at an employee will bring no good for the subordinate or the company. At most times it is hard to hold back feelings like anger or disappointment, but showing these emotions to an employee will ensure that in the future, the employee will avoid talking and solving problems with the boss. If an employee knows that the manager is non-judgmental, an employee will trust the manager more, and a strong relationship will be born. Such a relationship will bear fruit for a long time.    

Ask questions for clarity

Even if a manager involves all of these tips into their listening practice, there might be moments where he does not understand some of the speaker’s points. Because of that, the final tip is crucially important. As a manager, if there is something you do not grasp fully, do not be afraid to ask questions. Asking is not a sign of weakness, but rather of strength. It also shows that you were actually listening and not daydreaming through the employee’s discussion. An employee will be willing to answer these questions, since it will be obvious that the manager was making an effort and listened carefully.    

Conclusion

If you want more pointers on how to improve managers’ listening skills, contact Flexicrew and listen to some sound advice.

 Listening is difficult, but trying to be a good listener pays off. When listening to the employees remember to stay focused and try to grasp what they were trying to say. Without conscious effort, no value will be gained, and it will be a waste of time for both parties involved.

Part 1 – Manager Behaviors that illustrate Effective Leadership

The success of an organization depends on effective leadership to inspire the commitment, energy and engagement of their workforce. A classic example is the United States Navy SEALS. That organization trains the best manager behaviors. It never tries to force engagement. It possesses empowered teams and ecosystems that are well engaged but work in a decentralized environment.

Engaged employees will help reach company’s goals easily.  A report published by Gallup Organization on State of the Global Workplace, reports only 15% of the workforce feel engaged in their current position.

This shows that the members of the workforce overwhelmingly have not invested their time, energy and ingenuity in bringing additional value to their employer. Such workers are not going to attain a leadership position. That is, unless they begin to consistently practice positive values, positive attributes and true manager behaviors. 

Here are 5 ways that workers can practice some manager behaviors that illustrate effective leadership:

1.Effective Leadership Commands Teammates’ Respect

A leader must be respected by teammates. This shows that they are aware that you are responsible, professional and ethical in managing. Occasionally, a person is liked by teams because they tell jokes to lighten the mood or lower tension. However, they are not being a leader.

A reputation for having a great work ethic will help you to command respect as well as help you rise to a leadership position.   When you are in a leadership position you are expected to make real promises and create an impact on the organization.   When you act consistently with a positive ethical approach you become a reliable and trustworthy member of a company and, more importantly, of a work team.   You become others’ role model. Now, you can bring about a impressive impact on the organization as a whole. 

2.  Manager Behaviors that show Interest in the Team and the Big Picture

If you show a keen interest in the organization build- how the organization works how it is staying together and how it makes money and how it can improve its cash flow. Even if your suggestions are only based on a small department or function, Management will notice your attention to the company. This shows that you are trying to work out strategies to solve company problems or achieve strategic company  goals. 

When you engage your time and energy solely for the company, it will demonstrate your readiness to assume responsibility and take care of what matters to the business. The potential impact of a change, for example, in the costs or margins of the company and your concern/viewpoint on the same will reflect how closely you monitor the trend. This comes under the umbrella of effective leadership

3.  Has Gained Deep And Varied Experience

Now you are ready for leadership role thanks to your experience with good managers as well as bad managers each of them have taught you valuable lessons and those lessons you will never go out of your memory. They will help create a good culture at the workplace and will result in effective leadership.  Your personal knowledge and the knowledge gained after having worked with the team will help you to understand the company is better. 

Working with people of different ability helps invent new ways of doing things in a given set of circumstances. Thus, when your manager is difficult one and you’re hard-pressed to work the way he likes, it’s an opportunity to gain new experience. 

4. Attempts to Forge New Relationships and Seeks Challenges

If you are good at meeting new people and new teams and forge a relationship with those teams, you are on the leadership ladder. Being in the leadership position you need to deal with several teams are departments with distant discipline and visit different organizational goals.  

Being an effective leader, you need to forge new relationships with other teams as well as make sure that the relationship across teams is in sync with the goals of the organization.  By being in a leadership position, you can extend a helping hand to support the success of your other team members. This will help you keep a good rapport with engaged employees. 

5. Effective Leadership is Devoted To Learning More about Subordinates and Self

You’re so interested in learning more about the people around and yourself. For, you have a keen sense to learn because as you know assuming leadership is a challenge and it is not easy. To become a leader, you need to be humble and this makes you ready to learn from your employees. This will help you learn new ways of doing things, new behavior and habit easily. 

A leader who feels s/he has all the knowledge and solutions can never command the respect of teammates. And if you don’t command this respect it doesn’t constitute effective leadership.  Your business has top challenges ahead because of competition. And as a leader, you need to be ahead of others on a learning curve. You can learn new skills and new attributes. This will help encounter new challenges that confront your business. Therefore, you need to have a great passion to learn new things and we came to meet new people. 

Do you need more help finding top performers for your team?

Call Flexicrew. As one of  the Southeast’s top staffing agencies, we have years of experience serving employers – and helping them find truly exceptional people. Contact us today to learn more!

About Flexicrew

Flexicrew is family-owned and run since 2008, focusing on fast and flexible staffing solutions. Flexicrew makes use of technology and industry best practices to deliver the most talented and qualified professionals –industrial, skilled and unskilled, clerical – to clients within most major industries.