How To Be an Excellent Employee

Among other things, I have led a Business Intelligence team.  Recently, one of my colleagues asked for guidance on how to be an excellent employee.  None of this is rocket science or profound in any way but the question gave me pause and I thought I would share my response.

I think there are six behaviors that help someone achieve recognition as an excellent employee.  They are:

  1. No surprises. It’s a lesson many of us learn the hard way.  But it’s really simple.  If there is a problem, let your manager know before someone else tells her/him.  It’s even better if you have a solution but more on that in a moment.
  2. Abandon any “9:00- 5:00” mentality. Excellent employees do the job – irrespective of how many hours it takes.  Some days the work gets done in fewer than the traditional 8 hour day (Does anyone just work 8 hours/day any more?).  It will take longer other times.  I reward results and not how many hours someone works.
  3. Anticipate the 2nd and 3rd order effects of a decision. If you can’t do that alone, engage someone to help you think it through.  You’ll get a better solution.
  4. Be solution-oriented. It’s OK to come to your manager with a problem.  It’s great if you also come with an idea to solve the problem.
  5. Ask for help. It can be hard to ask for help.  But if we, as leaders,  create an environment where it is OK to say “I need help” then we all benefit.
  6. Be a lifetime learner. I think this is more true than ever in our new Corona reality.  The world will be different.  This is a terrific time to be thinking about what this new world will mean for your career and the capabilities you will need to thrive.

What do you think?  What behaviors am I overlooking?

  1. Great share Ken. I think if someone can follow above and get proper guidance can become successful. And I firmly…

Are You Ready to Reopen Your Business?

We are in a global defining moment.  While we all hope economies can reopen sometime soon, we have a rare opportunity to think about what we want our piece of the world to look like when that happens.   This article will pose some of the questions businesses of all sizes should be thinking about so that leaders can be prepared.  Not all considerations will apply to every business and most will need to adapt the questions to their unique circumstances.  This is not an exhaustive list.  Rather, the intent is to trigger thoughtful preparations.

Who are my customers and what are their needs now?

No business can survive without their customers.  How have their needs changed in the COVID-19 world?

  • Do I need to adapt my products or services to meet new and different needs?
  • Is now the time to refocus my strategy on my most profitable segments?
  •  Are there opportunities to pivot to new products or services.
  • Has the environment created an opportunity to develop adjacent offerings?
  • How do I know?
  • Am I talking to my customers now to understand what they are thinking?
  • Should you reopen with a big bang or should you phase a reopening?

What do I want my employee experience to be?

Just as a business needs customers, it also needs employees to service those customers.  Your employees are the face of your brand.  What do I need to do for and with my employees?

  • Is my physical workplace safe for employees to re-enter?
  • How do I keep it safe?
  • How do I assure my workforce stays healthy while also respecting medical and other privacy concerns?
  • If social distancing continues to be required for a long time (which is likely at least until we have an effective vaccine that has been widely deployed) what options do I have to keep my workforce (and customers) safe?
  • If some or all of my employees have been working remotely, what has worked well and what has not?
  • Should I continue to have some of workforce continue to work remotely?
  • If I have had to furlough or lay off some of my workforce, who do I bring back and when? Be careful in this decision to avoid inadvertently creating an adverse impact on a protected class of employee.

The answers to these and other questions should help you to evaluate your business model and what, if any changes are appropriate and important as we enter a new normal.

  1. Great share Ken. I think if someone can follow above and get proper guidance can become successful. And I firmly…