Here’s a cheat sheet for you to help you become a star performer at work.
As a budding professional in the workforce, you’ll find that there are many things you have to learn—and unfortunately, most of them aren’t explicitly taught.
So, most of the time, you have to wing it and stumble around for a while, and make some mistakes. However, there are tips and tricks you can learn to facilitate a smooth work life for you, to ensure that you smash your personal and career goals.
These are tips that your human resource manager or supervisor may not directly share with you for various reasons ranging from limited personal time with employees or a summarised onboarding process.
Some of the tips are:
- Showing personal drive and commitment to your work will increase your performance ratings and appraisal. It is important that beyond just performing your regular tasks and roles, you show a sense of passion and personal responsibility for your job.
Taking initiative, anticipating and providing solutions to team challenges show your team, supervisor and the organisation as a whole that you bring substantial value to the table and that it would be a wise decision to invest in your growth and career development.
- Speaking up: You have every right to ask questions and seek clarifications about your job role, benefits package and work culture.
Rather than suffering in silence when you feel like you have been given a wrong job description or your health insurance package is taking time to become active, it is perfectly fine for you to walk up to your HR manager and seek clarifications when required. This shows that you are assertive in your own right and are professional.
- Utilising training opportunities: You can request training opportunities or take advantage of the training opportunities provided. Usually, the HR department already has a budget for staff training and while some HR managers will notify you that you are entitled to professional training at the company’s expense, other managers may not formally notify you except you make a request. So, if you feel like you require some form of technical training or skill to perform your tasks better, then ask for it and it will definitely be considered.
- Research before asking for that salary increase: A lot of times, the request for salary increase from employees is turned down because of either the approach you employ to presented to your supervisor or HR manager or the lack of merit on the request.
When requesting an increase in salary, ensure that you can back up your request with proof of your contributions and value to your team and the organisation. Pull out the evidence and do not be sentimental in your approach.
Also, be prepared to negotiate how it will be given to you in terms of an increased benefit package, exclusive training opportunities, etc.
- Those queries and memos matter: Every official warning, query, internal memo and fine addressed in your name will count during your performance appraisal and promotion review. It’s not enough to just show up at work and do your job; you must also be aware of the rules and conduct codes guiding your organisation’s operations to avoid infractions.
- Feedback is a great way to better understand your skills, strengths, and areas you need to improve on as a professional.
It inadvertently helps you to better define your career path and identify ways you can improve your work. Showing a receptive attitude towards feedback will help you greatly.
- Keeping a record of your achievements and milestones in your organisation and make sure relevant parties like your line supervisor and HR are aware of your feats.
- Showing up to work on time is a part of the job. You may be great at your job and meet your targets but if you constantly show up late or are absent more often without proper notice or following stated processes, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. Your attitude towards the organisation’s service standards are as important as your department’s goals and deadlines.
- Reading the contract first is important. Be sure to read and understand your terms of employment contract, staff manuals, service standards, NDAs, etc. before penning your signature on them. Oftentimes, in the excitement of getting a job offer or settling into the work environment, employees often forget to go through the terms of employment to better understand what is required of them and what the company is obligated to do for them in return. This way, you avoid friction with your HR manager and company management on the terms and engagements of service.
If you take all these into consideration, you’ll definitely be on the fast track to top performance.
Ivie Ogbonmwan is the Head of Human Resources and Founder at Work in Nigeria Recruitment. She also deals with Performance Management, Talent Development, Policy Development. She serves as the Lead Consultant at Elite Hunters, responsible for strategies to attract, develop, and retain talent for corporate organizations and SMEs in diverse industries across Nigeria. In the course of her HR career, she has successfully managed the overall provision of Human Resources services, policies, and programs and has helped various organizations boost overall performance through effective HR, strategy building, fair and coherent compensation & benefits, and employee engagement.