Category Archives: Personal Development

How to be an Effective Employee

Sometimes being an effective employee is easy and sometimes it’s not —work responsibilities and circumstances vary, as do relationships with co-workers. One thing is certain: your attitude makes a big difference in how successful you are at work.

A positive attitude is a requirement of all of the following tips for improving your chances of succeeding at work.

Communicate positively and co-operate with others

  • Be friendly, supportive and co-operative. Develop a reputation for being easy to work with.
  • Contribute to the team. Everyone appreciates it when you help others who are swamped with work.
  • Treat everyone as your equal. The Golden Rule applies. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Compliment others when they deserve praise.
  • Don’t discus anything you would not want repeated; especially personal weaknesses or those of co-workers.
  • Ask for help when needed. People don’t mind explaining or demonstrating tasks if it is obvious that you have already tried to work the problem out on your own.
  • Be a good communicator. Give people your undivided attention during discussions, let them finish what they are saying and make sure you understand what has been said before you respond.
  • Be aware of your body language. Communication problems arise when what you say doesn’t match what your body is communicating.
  • Never criticize people in public. When you give feedback, do it in private, in an objective, constructive manner that helps people understand what they should do differently instead of just making them feel bad.
  • Communicate in a relaxed, patient and pleasant manner. People respond much better to calm discussion than to anger, sarcasm or commands.

Look and act the part of a responsible worker

  • Dress appropriately for the job. Consider the type of work you are doing, how your co-workers dress and the company image.
  • Look and act confident. Speak calmly, clearly and loudly enough to be heard. Look at people when they speak to you. Try not to appear flustered when things get very busy or when you are doing something for the first time.
  • Keep your work area neat and clean.
  • Be productive. Be on time for work. Don’t take extra-long coffee breaks, look after private business while you are on the job, or spend excessive amounts of time socializing. Let your employer know if you are going to be unavoidably late or absent, and use sick leave only when you are sick.
  • Finish important tasks even if it means working through breaks or occasionally staying past quitting time.
  • Use your time wisely. Plan ahead and do the most important tasks first. Organize your workspace and concentrate on one thing at a time, if you can. Take advantage of quiet times to do things you can see need to be done.

Set high work standards

  • Do good quality work of an appropriate quantity. Meeting work standards, quotas and deadlines goes a long way toward earning the approval of your supervisors and encouraging customers and clients to come back.
  • Make sure you understand the instructions before you start work on a new task. If there is a chance you will forget, write the instructions down.
  • The first few times you perform a task, follow instructions precisely. Ask your supervisor to check if you are doing things right before potential mistakes become a problem.
  • Be thorough. Do your work as correctly and carefully as possible. Check your work before handing it over. Don’t hesitate to do a job over if you think it might be unsatisfactory.
  • Work at a steady pace. Be a person who always gets things done.
  • Learn the “tricks of the trade” from senior staff and be open to new ideas about how you can improve your work.
  • Take responsibility for completing your work. When you have finished one task, move on to the next activity without waiting to be told.

Positive attitudes toward work and the people at work will help you to get your work done effectively and creatively and establish relationships that are pleasant and co-operative.

From ALIS

3 tips for a stress-free connected workplace

(NC) Does your workplace stress you out? It may not be the everyday tasks, projects and deadlines, but rather the physical environment.

Maybe your desk is too messy, or your colleagues are too loud. Perhaps your boss is always looking over your shoulder, the dated technology gives you anxiety, or you can’t stand the fluorescent lights.

If any of these resonate with you, there’s a good chance that your physical workplace is affecting your attitude and performance.

According to the recent Connected Workplace Report, commissioned by Rogers Communications and conducted by Harris-Decima, 76 per cent of Canadians believe technology helps them to be more efficient and productive at their job. And, 30 per cent of respondents report that staying connected to their work with mobile technology helps them to enjoy a healthier work/life balance.

Creating a stress free environment for you and your team can pay off big time. Whether you are an executive, manager, or team member, you can have an impact on the stress level of your co-workers by using technology and other techniques.

Here are three ways to do this every day of the week:

Keep your workspace clean and organized. Clear all the clutter around your desk. Put work in progress neatly in one location. File away completed projects, and do an assessment of what you really need to keep. Determine if you can digitize any of your printed documents. Recycle or shred anything that you do not need a copy of.

Ensure your office and desk set up is comfortable. Place your computer directly in front of you with your keyboard and mouse in a comfortable position – your lower arms should rest at a comfortable angle. Think ergonomics – you should have a desk chair that is adjustable and provides proper back support. This will alleviate both physical and mental stress.

Use technology. Modern technology has changed the way we do business. Smooth collaboration between employees, partners, suppliers, and customers is a sure-fire way to boost efficiency while also reducing stress. There are numerous tools that allow people to collaborate and share from anywhere, like interactive calendaring, videoconferencing, Microsoft’s Office 365 and the Rogers One Number app are two examples.

Be a good communicator. Poor communication often causes confusion, leading to stress in the office. If those around you aren’t communicating well, ask questions, make suggestions and do whatever else you can to improve the situation.

Sixty per cent of those surveyed believe that smartphones and tablets have a positive effect on workplace communication. To stay productive on the move, workers need to be able to quickly and easily reach the people and information they need. With file sharing tools and mobile worker solutions and devices, it is easy to work outside the office and still enjoy safe access to the business network.More information is available at www.rogers.com.

Learn to Stop to Keep Going

Imagine getting behind the wheel of your car and driving continuously, without any thought to refueling or maintenance. It would run along for a while, but sooner or later something would bring the car to a halt.

To keep a car going, you need to stop it periodically. Frequent stops are needed to add fuel. Less frequent stops are needed for maintenance and repair. Neglecting these stops will soon turn a new car into a pile of scrap metal.

It’s amazing how many people don’t see that same principle at work in their life. There are limits to what anyone can accomplish without taking breaks. These stops are necessary on every level of capacity:

  • physical
  • emotional
  • psychological
  • spiritual

If you’re looking to keep moving forward in a focused and productive fashion, you need to have some space in your schedule.

Stop

  • Put aside a little time every day to plan what you’re going to do.
  • Put aside a little time every week to review your outstanding commitments and organize them for the following week.
  • Put aside time once or twice a year to review your goals and dreams, and why they are important to you.

Anticipate

  • Things are going to go wrong, or at least different than we anticipated. Knowing that you have a plan in place can help you pick up the pieces and keep moving forward.

Set your attitude

  • Our attitude is a result of deliberate action. We choose the ways we respond to difficulties in our lives. That’s not to say that some situations are going to be more difficult than others, but there are ways to maintain a positive mental attitude.

Focus

  • Discern what your skills and strengths are.
  • Say yes to those you are confident you can complete with excellence.
  • Say no to everything else.

Energize

Each person’s down time needs to suit themselves.

What are some of the things you do to refuel, re-charge and repair? Leave a comment.

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Life lessons from a dog

 

Shady

There’s lots we can learn from a dog about living a good life.

  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy-ride.
  • Get the most out of the experience of fresh air and wind in your face
  • When family members come home, always run to greet them.
  • Be obedient; when it’s in your best interest.
  • Protect your territory.
  • Take naps and stretch before rising.
  • Run and play daily.
  • Eat with enthusiasm.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If you want what is buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close and nuzzle them gently.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Don’t bite when a growl will do.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t feel guilty and pout. Run right back and make friends.
  • Bond with your pack.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
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