What Does Your Employer Expect from You?
Employers hire people to either help their company make money or help their company save money. Whether it’s a manager who makes business decisions or a receptionist who makes the first impression on customers or a maintenance worker who makes the building a safe place to conduct the company’s business, all are hired and paid to contribute to the success of the company.
There are a few characteristics that employers value in their employees, characteristics that can be possessed by all, regardless of their job title.
Your attitude affects the relationships you have with your co-workers and supervisor, the way you feel about the tasks you are asked to accomplish, and how satisfied you are with your employment. A positive attitude in your work means that you look for the best qualities in those with whom you work, that you take on challenges willingly, and that you find ways to accomplish even the most tedious tasks without complaint.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “Though my work may be menial, though my contribution may be small, I can perform it with dignity and offer it with unselfishness. My talents may not be great, but I can use them to bless the lives of others. I can be one who does his work with pride in that which comes from hand and mind. I can be one who works with respect for my associates, for their opinions, for their beliefs, with appreciation for their problems and with a desire to help them should they stumble. I believe in the principle that I can make a difference in this world. It may be ever so small. But it will count for the greater good. The goodness of the world in which we live is the accumulated goodness of many small and seemingly inconsequential acts” ("I Believe," Ensign , Aug. 1992, 7).
Being dependable means that you do what you say you will do. Your colleagues and manager rely on you to accomplish responsibilities associated with your job. Your efforts contribute to the success of others. Ask yourself what constitutes success in your particular position and then ensure that you constantly work to exceed those expectations. Being dependable will make you a valued employee.
Continual learning enables you to increase the contribution you make to your company. Are you willing to take the time to learn new skills and thus make yourself a more valuable employee? This does not mean you have to return to school. Asking questions, taking advantage of training programs at work, and reading books all count as learning and help you become more valuable in your current assignment. Ask for advice from your team and manager on things you need to learn in order to progress. Learning to take feedback graciously is a vital skill we all need in order to become better.
While there may be specific assignments you are given in your work, there are opportunities to do even more. Have you ever accepted projects that are outside your comfort zone? Have you ever volunteered for a project that no one else wants to take? How often have you approached your employer with new ideas? Taking the initiative to do things better provides insight into the kind of person you are. Instead of doing things the way they have always been done, share your new ideas with your employer and make a case for the investment. Even if your idea is not received as well as you would have hoped, at least you did your best and learned. Take a chance and try a new project; you will be amazed at the impact it will have on you and the new skills you will learn.
One of the greatest assets anyone can possess is the ability to get along with others and help them succeed. You may not have all the skills required for a job, but if you can get along with your team and can share your talents with others, you have just made the work environment a better one and you will also have a grateful employer. By helping your team get along, you will make your company a better place for all—this does not go unrecognized.
There are many other attributes that can be added to this basic list, such as honesty and respect. They are all important but they all have their foundation in attitude. A positive attitude is the foundation upon which we must develop our careers.