In the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak, businesses have found themselves struggling to cope and having to downsize as fears over the economy continue to grow.
For leaders and employees, 2020 has been a turbulent year with a lot of uncertainty as we try to navigate an unprecedented and complex situation.
Over the duration of the MCO, many people have lost their jobs, their livelihoods and even their businesses. And it’s understandable that those who still have their jobs feel a degree of fear over what the future holds.
Working remotely presents several benefits for employees and organisations alike. That said, it also removes the opportunity for the kind of interactions and connections that keeps everyone in the loop of what’s going on.
Even though people are working hard from home, it can feel uncomfortable to highlight those efforts during online meetings or even in one-to-one conversations with leaders. As a result, your efforts can go needlessly unnoticed.
On that note, visibility is crucial during times of economic uncertainty to help show your value and contribution to the organisation. Many people feel uncomfortable with ‘blowing their trumpet’, and while self-promoting can be done in a tasteless manner, when it’s done right it’s subtle and effective and shows your worth to the organisation.
Whether we like it or not, we all have a personal brand that we sell to others on a daily basis. If we’re passive, the message of our brand gets shaped by others, and then it’s down to luck whether people perceive us in the way we’d hope.
Conversely, we have the choice to take charge of how we’re seen (if not completely at least to a considerable degree), and so it’s beneficial to work on how to promote yourself in a way that shows off your authentic best self.
This can be done in several ways (it’s not all about talking) and it’s perhaps something that you’re not currently familiar or comfortable with, but taking the time to work on your strengths and learning to shine a light on your own worth in a way that doesn’t overwhelm others can pay dividends in the long run.
Whether it helps you progress within your current organisation, or enhances your employability when other companies are looking to hire fresh talent, learning to showcase your value these days is just as important – if not more so – than the resume you hand over to prospective employers.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 4 ways that can help you stand out as an employee worth their weight in gold:
1. During work hours, be productive
This might sound like an obvious point, but there are many distractions at the office that lead us to waste a lot of our time at work. I’ve received a few messages from people telling me they prefer not to work at home because “I feel less motivated” or “There are a lot more distractions at home”.
At a time where businesses are still trying to find their feet as the MCO eases, it’s important to be someone who shows their commitment during work hours, as these are the people who often help to alleviate unexpected problems and challenges that arise.
Many people feel they can be more productive at the office, so if you’re someone who feels less motivated working from home, try these tips to help boost your performance as you work remotely.
Read: 3 Words to Keep Online Meetings Productive
2. Be a proactive team player
When working during a crisis, much of the focus is (rightly) on the employees and helping them maintain their well-being as well as their performance as they adjust to new circumstances.
Part of that reality includes leaders and organisations also being in a period of adjustment and it helps leaders enormously when they know people are on top of their work and taking the initiative where possible. If you can, deliver results earlier than expected; if there’s an issue that needs to be resolved, try to resolve it yourself before escalating.
If you have an idea that can help the organisation run more efficiently or generate extra revenue, share it with management. These are just a few examples of how you can be proactive and show that you understand the difficulty that everyone’s facing and that you’re willing to help the team get through a rocky period.
3. Help spread optimism
There’s nothing better (at any time) than people who lift each other up within an organisation. There are several people at Leaderonomics who are awesome at giving others that needed boost to help them get going if they’re feeling overwhelmed. It also helps strengthen bonds within the team, increasing commitment and engagement.
Whether it’s through video call, email or WhatsApp, simple messages can make a huge difference. “Hey Lynn, thank you so much for helping me with that project, your efforts really took it to a new level”; “Daniel, it was awesome that you were able to lead the team meeting last-minute. I know times have been tough lately, but they’re made much easier by having great people like you who step up and deliver.”
In times of uncertainty, people – even leaders – appreciate knowing what they do matters, and if you’re someone who spreads optimism when it’s needed most, your presence becomes much more valuable to the organisation.
4. Blow your trumpet
It’s understandable that the idea of self-promotion will make some of you cringe. That’s likely because you know a handful of people who do little else but talk about how amazing they are and how much they’ve achieved – you don’t want to be that person.
However, there is some utility to updating your boss or manager on what you’ve been doing, especially when working from home because it gives a clear understanding of how you’ve continued to contribute.
All it takes is a quick chat or email on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to say, “Hi Steve, just to update you that I’ll be finishing off that project by the end of this week. I’ve also put together the media communication you asked for, and am currently working on the slides for the upcoming webinar. I’ll be sending those to you by Monday for review.”
By keeping things factual, clear and succinct, you’re not only making life easier for others, you’re also showing your worth without suffocating your contributions with superfluous self-praise.
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