5 Improvements You Can Make In The New Year To Be The Best Employee

Every new year comes with swaths of resolutions about your weight, your bad habits, or keeping in touch with your friends. As we enter this new year, why not focus on an aspect of your life that you often ignore in your self-improvement efforts. Why not work to become better employees.

When you are more productive, effective, and efficient you are in your job the benefits are numerous. You’re more likely to be recognized at work, get promoted, or get that raise. But you are also more like to feel fulfilled at work and happier at the place where you spent most of your time. Even your relationships in the office can improve, widening the social circle you rely on to keep you sane.

So what can you do to improve as an employee? Here are 5 good places to start as you turn the page on a new year.

1. Become Solution-Focused

A major part of your boss’s day-to-day job is putting out fires. They handle the problems that come up and are ultimately responsible for solving those problems in efficient and effective ways. If you want to become a better employee, you can make this part of your boss’s job a little bit easier.

The next time you have a problem that needs to be solved, a question you are struggling with, or a difficult situation that needs the oversight of your boss, consider your approach. Instead of just bringing this problem to their office door, come equipped with a solution idea, as well.

You don’t have to do all of this work for your boss, but this little helping hand can ease their mind as well as help them see you as a problem solver, a forward thinker, and a valuable member of the team.

This principle doesn’t only apply to your boss. Whether you’re in a meeting, talking to a colleague, or presenting issues to a team, staying focused on, and being prepared with solutions can make you a better employee. It can also make people happier to work with you, more willing to listen to you, and ultimately value you more highly.

2. Focus on Your Health

The bottom line here is that when you’re healthier, you are happier, you have more energy, you can be more effective in your role, and you are at work more often. Though this point is not about taking fewer sick days.

People who eat healthily and exercise regularly are more effective and efficient at work. Studies have shownOpens in a new tab. that healthier employees are 25% more likely to have higher job performance. Focusing on improving your health certainly has many benefits beyond those at work, but the increase in your effectiveness as an employee cannot be ignored.

So, go to the gym, take your vitamins, even consider looking into products that make your skins, hair, and nails healthier like these dermal repair complex reviewsOpens in a new tab.. When thinking about your health, consider every aspect of your body. When you feel better, you work better and your boss will thank you.

While you’re thinking about your health, don’t forget the importance of good mental health. Take stock of your mental and emotional wellbeing. If you need help, find a professional you can talk to, take up a meditation practice, or start a gratitude journal.

3. Tailor Your Communication 

There are personality types and communication style tests everywhere these days. Whether it is the classic Myer-BriggsOpens in a new tab., the Four Color Personalities, or something else, you’ve seen and probably taken one of these assessments.

They are not just junk for your staff meeting trash cans. These tests can give you insight into yourself, your colleagues, and your bosses. They can tell you how best to communicate with the people around you at work and how to approach them with problems, questions, or to ask for a raise.

When you take the time to evaluate your colleagues, understand how they function, and tailor your communication style to their needs, you will find all of them more receptive, more friendly, and easier to work with. The fact is, they will find you to be all of those things, as well.

This takes practice and a good amount of reading, but the leg work will pay off as you and your team reach new heights of productivity, efficiency, and collegiality.

4. Use Feedback Correctly

As an employee, you are likely subject to performance reviews. There is a good chance you answer directly to a supervisor that has or will give you feedback on your work, as well. All of this feedback is designed to help you improve at work.

Unfortunately, it is often difficult to take it that way. Work to remove your emotional reactions to this type of feedback, whether it is positive or negative. Instead, create a habit out of breaking that feedback into actionable suggestions to improve your practice.

If you get a “good job” from your boss, find out what specifically worked so you can replicate that behavior. If the feedback is more constructive, use it to identify specific practices that you can change to get a better result in the future.

A key is to consider the feedback as a commentary on your behaviors or actions rather than on you, as a person or an employee. You can change behaviors much easier than changing who you are. Master that and you will thrive in your workplace.

5. Learn to Love to Learn

In large organizations, specialization is key. Everybody must know how to do their jobs, perform their duties, and master their responsibilities for everything to work smoothly. While necessary, such a system has a major flaw inherent in its design. It is a flaw that you can help do something about. When everybody is tasked with a specialized focus, very few people see the bigger picture of an organization’s workflow.

Take it on as a responsibility of yours to learn as many of the aspects of that big picture as possible. You don’t need to become an expert in accounts receivable if you are in HR, but learn enough about it that you can have a conversation with a team about how it fits into the big picture of your organization.

When you learn these other aspects of a larger project, you will start to better empathize with your colleagues in other departments and with your boss. You will start to see how the pieces fit together and how your contributions can best fit into an effective puzzle.

The more you know, the more you learn, and the more readily you do it, the better you will be able to drive your entire organization to success. You can count your boss seeing that effort as a great benefit to the team, as well.

A Resolution Worth Keeping

When you work to become a better employee, the people around you are affected. They take notice, and the way you are perceived by those peers and by your boss will change, as well.

If nothing else, look at the journey to becoming a better employee as a selfish one. You will certainly be happier at work, more respected at work, and maybe even, better recognized with pay raises and title promotions.

Doesn’t that sound better than another juice cleanse or a $75 per month gym membership you won’t use come March?

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