Kool Derby

Becoming a quality employee is far from easy. You must do more than simply meet expectations. Those who produce quality work are both efficient and effective. Even more than that, they do their work despite the many obstacles they encounter. One defining attribute of high-quality individuals is a professional and positive attitude.

It’s easy to spot the top quality people in your company. These men and women are focused on results. They are looking for new and creative ways to resolve problems. When they run into a dead end, they assume the responsibility of finding a solution. While they might seek guidance from their management team, they also propose alternatives.

Here are three strategies to becoming a quality employee:

#1: Seek meaningful work.

Do what you can to get out in front of the pack. Go to your manager and ask for challenging work. Until you take the leap and earn the high-value assignments, you will mingle mostly with mediocre employees.

Once you receive the important projects, create a plan. Determine who must be on your team, and ensure they are assigned work that meets their core competencies. As the leader of the team, roll-up your sleeves, and become a meaningful participant. You cannot watch from the sidelines, hoping everyone will meet the expectations.

#2: Become a Professional Problem Solver.

Do you want to make more money? Do you want to climb the ladder in your company? Do you want to be respected? To do so, you must solve problems. If you want to lead your company, learn to solve even bigger problems.

Avoid an ad hoc approach to problem solving. Make sure to have a plan. Think through the issue, and conduct a root cause analysis. One simple approach is the Socratic method of asking the “5 Whys.” Instead of tackling the symptoms, you want to identify the underlying cause.

#3: Become a professional at everything you do.

A great label you can earn that of a professional person. When others believe that you are both responsible and accountable, they will buy into your vision. You must be able to transfer that enthusiasm and belief to others, and a professional approach is an important first step.

As a professional, avoid pettiness. You are concerned about the impact that Decision A has on Decision Z. In other words, you are a big picture person. You view team members for their ability to contribute to the project, and could care less if they are tall, short, skinny, chubby, white, brown or black.

Resolve today that you are going to focus on improving your overall quality as an employee. To do so, you must think long-term. Start building a foundation that will give you stability in the future. You must have a plan in place, and that initiative begins by focusing on making important contributions to your organization.

Focus on the key result areas (KRAs). If you don’t know the KRAs, schedule a meeting with your manager. Once you have a clear idea of the target, make sure every action and activity is aligned with those goals. To ensure you’re on track, continually assess your performance. When off-track, take corrective action, and get yourself back on the road to quality performance.