7 Methods for Being a Productive and Effective Employee

When most people think of productive and effective employees, they think of the employee that always has their assignments done on time and to the best of their ability. That is not wrong. However, it also overlooks many aspects of an employee that is productive and effective.

1. Take Charge
When everyone is unsure how to proceed, be the one to start making a game plan. Others will follow and start chipping in as needed. An emergency arises over a project, step up and act. Again, others will follow and proceed with the appropriate action.

2. Make Allies Across the Organization
There are always allies to be made in other departments. Sometimes it is the secretary that holds the key to the supply closet. Other times, this is the man that delivers your mail. Take time to get to know and build relationships with these individuals. Every person at a company has a role to play, and you are never too good to not be friends with them.

3. Give Your Full Attention
Multi-tasking will be your downfall. Give your full attention to whatever you are doing. The assignment you are working on. The coworker that is asking you a question or passing along pertinent information. Pay attention. Don’t multitask.

4. Focus on Results, Not on To-Do Lists
Even the most well-intentioned to-do list can go awry. Instead of looking at the checkmarks on the page, look at results your work is creating. If the result is not up to par or far from the mark, reevaluate how you are working.

5. Pay Attention but Don’t Compare
Pay attention to other employees that are moving up the ladder and doing well. Take note of what he or she is doing, how they are making things happen, and impressing the higher-ups. However, do not compare yourself. Everyone is different, does their work differently, and will follow their own path. There is a fine line between learning and comparing.

6. Identify Inefficiencies
These can be inefficiencies in your own work or in the way the company operates. Is your work still sending out snail mail where an email would be more efficient and cost-effective? Ask your supervisor about a trial run of emails. Inefficiencies are costly in time and money.

7. Own Up to Your Mistakes
It will happen. It does to everyone. You will make a mistake. Own up to it. Fix it. Move on.

Being an employee that is productive and effective is about more than completing work on time. It is about thinking outside the box, asking questions, and stepping up when no one else will. Start taking the small steps necessary to be more productive and effective.