EAP Corner

Thriving – Become a High Performing Employee

You just heard from management that a coworker was promoted. You feel you have worked hard at your job and that you are a great employee, but why were you not selected? You have two choices: blame it on others and circumstances or reflect on you and your own performance. It is incredibly difficult to let go of our egos and really look at ourselves. However, once you let go of the emotions of being rejected, you can be open and identify areas to improve upon.

Review your most recent job evaluation for areas of improvement. What areas do you feel you need to work on? Ask a co-worker for honest feedback and let them know you are open to hearing the suggestions they have.

There are some great tips in an article titled, How to Be the Best Damn Employee, from the blog on Bmeaningful.com. After the author spoke with a few high performing managers, they put together a list of secrets and one of them is to “Make your own development plan”. Top performers make their own development plans; they do not wait for their manager to create something for them- because often that doesn’t happen. Chart your own path for growth and bring forward your goals to your manager. It’s important that you understand that while your organization wants to see you succeed, it’s still an organization with its own goals.” (Minuk, 2018)

Let’s review a few things that you can do to become a high performing employee. The most important thing is to never stop learning. If you have the mindset that you do not need to learn anything new or that you cannot make changes, you will remain stuck. We need to be open to coaching.

Look at your soft skills. What are they? In the article Top Soft Skills Employers Value with Examples, it states that, “Soft skills are the skills that enable you to fit in at a workplace. They include your personality, attitude, flexibility, motivation, and manners. Soft skills are so important that they are often the reason employers decide whether to keep or promote an employee.” (Doyle, 2020). Soft skills are more about the behaviors you display in the work place. Are you punctual, dependable, self-motivated, resourceful, a problem solver, and are you able to communicate tactfully if you believe a process isn’t working? According to Indeed’s Career Guide the most sought-after soft skills include:

  • Effective communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Dependability
  • Adaptability
  • Conflict resolution
  • Flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Research
  • Creativity
  • Work ethic
  • Integrity

As you develop your goals, it will be helpful to identify the strengths that you can use more effectively in the workplace, as well as areas you can improve on. What skills do you want to learn? Do some research in the areas that you are ready to make changes. Look for learning opportunities. You may find a book or a class you can take through a local college or online. If you find yourself struggling with pinpointing areas to improve upon, or having difficulty improving areas you have identified, consider reaching out to Wholeness Healing Center to set up an appointment with a therapist. The two of you can work towards setting those goals, assessing the changes you want to bring about, and then identifying how to actually make changes and reach those goals. Oftentimes, it may mean decreasing your own stress so that your executive brain function is more effective, or changing patterns that increase openness with others, or setting boundaries so you have more time to focus on your own job tasks versus helping others. The needed changes may be small but often those small changes can be mighty.

Writing out a personal development plan with goals is like mapping a journey of where you want to go and how you will get there. Taking time to create and act on a personal development plan will help you become a high performing employee and more valuable in the work place. A side benefit is that it will also help with life and your relationships outside of work. “If you ever find yourself feeling lost in life, you can just look into your plan and remind yourself where you want to go. A personal development plan is your guideline for life!” (Lu, 2015)

Works Cited:

Doyle, A (2020, September 17) Top soft skills employers value with examples. Retrieved from: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/list-of-softskills-2063770 Indeed Career Guide. (2021) Soft skills definitions and examples. Retrieved from: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover- letters/soft-skills

Lu, E (2015, January 13) Mindofawinner.com. How to write a personal development plan. Retrieved from: http://www.mindofwinner.com/createpersonal-development-plan/#:~:text=A%20 personal%20development%20plan%20 helps%20you%20to%20structure%20your%20thinking.&text=A%20personal%2-development%20plan%20is%20a%20process%20that%20consists%20of,improve%20and%20develop%20with%20time

Minuk, A (2018, May 1) Bmeaningful.com. How to be the best damn employee. Retrieved from https://www.bmeaningful.com/blog/2018/05/how-to-be-the-best-employee

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