Simple Steps To Becoming A Star Employee
[dropcap]R[/dropcap]emember the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” It seems like many of us may need a reminder on the law of reciprocity. I have managed employees for more than 20 years and I had been an employee for just as many. The so-called Golden Rule is the common denominator on both sides of the equation.
Sometimes we forget this simple saying… or don’t think about too much with everything else we have going on. Instead we tend to make things more complicated than they really are (but that is a rant for another time). I guess where I’m going with this is, if you’re a manager, do you treat your boss like you want your employees to treat you? If you are an employee, do you treat your manager like you want to be treated yourself?
I think back to the best employees I’ve had as a manager. They were the ones doing whatever was needed – and with a great attitude – so that we could all be successful together. In short, they made my life easier, and together we all exceeded our goals.
Applying the Golden Rule to yourself doesn’t just help your boss out. When your goal is to make your manager more successful – rather than just yourself – you’ll grow as an individual performer, as a professional, and as a part of the team.
It’s not complicated; it just requires a decision and commitment on your part to make it happen. Here are five tips for making your manager’s life, and job, easier on a daily basis. In turn these tips can help you mentor your employees to do the same for you:
If you say your going to do something, DO IT! There’s nothing worse then making promises and not keeping them. I’m sure you feel the same way when someone tells you they will do something and then they fail to follow-through. Also, if your boss asks you to do something, do it… but don’t just do it like he asked, do it better! I placed this at the top of the list because I feel it is so important. This is one of the simplest and easiest keys to success.
2) Going Above & Beyond
I’m going to pick on the parts department because they are accessible to the public and they have a lot of cool stuff to look at. I have visited hundreds of dealerships during my time in this industry and one thing that sticks out is the amount of time the parts department employees seem to just hang out. While I do enjoy my fair share of fun and banter, I see so many more productive things they can be doing.
Dusting off helmets, re-merchandising, creating eye-catching sale signs, placing obsolete product on eBay to move it out and have a cleaner looking dept. The list goes on. Even if you don’t work in the parts dept. I guarantee there are many things you can do to go above and beyond the call of duty.
This kind of productivity where you come up with initiative to do things on your own goes a long way with you and your boss, and it teaches others to hopefully do the same.
3) Offer Solutions, Not Problems
Your job is not to constantly point out problems that arise, but rather, to proactively start thinking about what solutions could help address those issues. For example, you should never walk into your boss’ office to complain about how the receiving department can’t get anything in on time.
Instead, you should first go to the receiving department and talk to them and offer solutions to improve the situation. Then, when you do go to your boss about it, you’ll be able to let the boss know the action you’ve already taken to start solving the problem instead of complaining.
[pullquote]“Applying the Golden Rule to yourself doesn’t just help your boss out. When your goal is to make your manager more successful – rather than just yourself – you’ll grow as an individual performer, as a professional, and as a part of the team.”[/pullquote]
4) Surprises You Don’t Want Are Problems
Issues are just a part of life, but issues that come as a surprise to your boss are no fun for anyone. For example, if you suspect that one of your customers is about to blow a gasket and is about to escalate the situation over you (and maybe even over your boss), you need to let your manager know.
Otherwise they will be completely blindsided by the situation, unprepared to handle it, and likely, not too happy with you. A blindside creates frustration and chaos that usually ends up in a major time-wasting fire drill. Avoid it, and believe me, your manager will thank you.
5) Bottom Line
When all else fails, just remember the Golden Rule! The concept occurs in some form in nearly every religion and ethical tradition in the world. According to Wikipedia, it can also be explained from the perspectives of psychology, philosophy, sociology and economics. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others.
Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighbor as “I” or “self.” Sociologically, treating your neighbor as yourself is applicable between individuals and between groups. In economics, Richard Swift suggests that “without some kind of reciprocity society would no longer be able to exist.”
Employees who work to make their managers successful are golden. Your manager has a tough job – the stress and pressure of which may not be abundantly evident to you.
So, help your manager out and develop your own skills at the same time, by doing everything you can to make your boss’ job easier. When you’re a manager, you’ll appreciate the same consideration of the law of reciprocity. So let’s all remember the importance of the old Golden Rule!