Everyone wants to see themselves make progress in their lives. And for most, a major determinant of how they are faring is by how much progress they make in their place of work. A promotion in the office usually results in a pay raise, which translates in more money to meet basic needs. Unfortunately, making progress in the office is not automatic. It is directly tied to how productive you are, or how much value you are perceived to bring to the table.
With the current onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world, a lot of employers are looking for ways to cut down on their cost of doing business. This, coupled with the fact that a lot of people are now working from home, makes your perceived value in the workplace now more important than ever.
This now begs the question, how effective are you in the workplace? Better yet, how high is your workplace productivity?
Understanding personal effectiveness
Personal effectiveness can be described as the way you make the best use of your time and resources, to produce the greatest results. For each person, this will vary depending on your careers or goals. However, the central theme is the same, producing maximum results.
With regards to your workplace, this will mean doing everything within your power to ensure you amaze your employers, or clients. Remember, keeping these stakeholders happy is your fastest way to making progress in the workplace.
Here are a few sure fire ways to boost your personal effectiveness.
Know what your major stakeholders want
It is said that “assumptions are the lowest form of knowledge”. Unfortunately, a lot of people make important decisions based on assumptions. Avoid doing this in the workplace. Always seek clarification from your clients or supervisors on what is required of you per time.
Something worth remembering is you can never go wrong if you make your supervisors look good. It is a sure fire way to increase your workplace productivity. Put differently, avoid focusing on the trivial but the important things to your key stakeholders. The key stakeholders in this case refer to those you report to at the office, or your clients.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses
Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom- Aristotle.
The above quote sums this up nicely. You should have a thorough analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, so that you know where to improve. The aim of this exercise is not to be a master of everything. It is to help you know the areas you need to work on that will help you do better on the job.
For example, an architect who has issues with designing will definitely need to improve on that. Conversely, no one cares if that architect dances better than Michael Jackson, as it has no bearings to his deliverables.
To do this properly, use the SWOT analysis test (SWOT- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). You should also be prepared to ask others you trust to help with this exercise.
Practice time management
Even the best tend to be unproductive with no goals set. As such, it is important to have a list of all the things you want to achieve on a daily basis. Prepare your to-do-list, and put down all the tasks that must be accomplished that day. Then, arrange them in an order of importance.
Combined with having a daily schedule or to-do-list, determining your most productive periods of the day will help you prioritize your tasks better. If your most productive period is in the morning like most people, it will benefit you to schedule your high impact tasks for that same period, and the lesser impact tasks for later in the day.
Some of the benefits of working out of the office in the past was, team leaders knew who was present at work because they could see you, and it was also easy to pass across information among your colleagues.
However, working from home makes those benefits more difficult. Team members can not tell if one is working at home, or lounging on the beach. Hence, it is important that you keep the communication lines open with your team members, leaders, or even clients. Make it a point of duty to check in with everyone frequently. This might be to give updates to your leaders or clients, receive updates from colleagues, or simply to find out how everyone is doing.
The Japanese people have a philosophy called KAIZEN, which literally means constant and never ending improvements. They do not set out to do big things, but keep looking for ways to do the regular things better. That philosophy is what has made that small country a superpower.
Likewise, you should not be satisfied with your personal skill level. Daily, find new ways to improve on yourself. Hone an old skill to perfection, or learn something new entirely. Whatever the case, ensure you get better and more valuable by the day. This will make you indispensable to your organization, and also a massive draw to others.
There is a well known story of a popular CEO in a fortune 500 company, called Richard Montanez, who started his career as a janitor. You can find his story here.
His story is a reminder that you can be just about anything you want to be, if you set your mind to it. And a good starting place to getting there is by increasing your personal effectiveness at your workplace.