Just the other day I met with a wonderful lady who has been in the staffing industry for over 30 years! If anyone is able to articulate the changes in employment, she certainly can. As we were talking, she stated that today's biggest challenge is that employers and employees have different expectations when it comes to work. I explain the following 7 Rules of Work in hopes to decrease this gap in expectations.
Rule #1: Show Up On Time. I don't think people really realize how important this is. At it's core, this is an issue of integrity and trust. Honestly, I've not always followed this rule. Often I would arrive late to meetings, and I believed that I could because I was the leader. No one questioned why I was late...they just assumed that I was doing principal or bishop things and so I myself became lackadaisical. Then, just two years ago, I was taught the power of time and dedicated myself to showing up on time and ending things on time no matter what. I was overwhelmed at the response that I got and how people quickly took my word because of this little, simple act.
Rule #2: Come With A Positive Attitude. Any business or organization has problems. You can either focus on the problems or focus on the vision...honestly, it is your choice. If you focus on the problems, you'll end up not liking your job, your boss and your coworkers. You'll gossip more, you'll share secrets and suddenly you'll become "that person" who management is trying to get rid of. While you may not agree with everything, and while you might at times think that you got the short end of the stick, get over it and get over you...Be positive and focus on helping others and you'll do just fine.
Rule #3: Follow Through On Commitments. You might read this and think, "yea, this one I've got nailed!" but do you? Most of us are really good at keeping the big commitments, but what about all the others? Pay close attention every time you hear yourself say, "sure, I'll do that" or "yea, I can get that done." Then, WRITE THIS DOWN, because if you are like most people you're going to get distracted and you might very well forget what you committed to. Again, this is a trust and integrity thing. If you write all your commitments down and do your best to do them, you'll instantly build trust with your coworkers and superiors. Obviously, you'll not be perfect at completing them all. In such cases, be honest and shoot a quick email: "Hey Stacy, I know that I said I would get that report to you on Friday. Such and such has come up, so can I possibly get it to you on Monday instead?" People will appreciate your communication and honesty (assuming you truly are doing your best at fulfilling your commitments).
Rule #4: Communicate. Rule #3 touches on this, but effective work does not happen without communication. If you are not sure of the expectations, ask. This requires a bit of humility, but letting go of the ego is so much more beneficial than operating under a false understanding. I like how pastor Jesse Giglio states it, "The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished." Ask questions and let people know what you are working on too. A transparent office is a happy office.
Rule #5: Trust First. A VP of sales that I've been working with best described our society and it's inability to trust. He said that for generations, when a child had a question about something he or she immediately turned to mom and dad to seek out advice. In today's technology and information-rich society, we really don't give a hoot about mom and dad's advice, because we have Google and the advice of hundreds. While I'm not advocating us to ignore the progresses of society, I am asking us to not forget about those that have gone ahead of us, and that includes our supervisors. We might disagree, we might thing otherwise, but no one truly understands the situation better than the person who has lived it. Trust first, and then if you have questions ask (see Rule #4). Besides, if we don't trust first, how would we every expect to accomplish anything together?
Rule #6: Go Beyond Expectations. This one takes a little more effort, as you have to not only understand exactly where the expectations lie, but you have to push yourself past those expectations. We can't expect success if we simply live by "status quo" or "just good enough." In fact, in a recent training with John Maxwell, he considers the word Average as profanity and that it should not be spoken. We can't be average, and in truth I don't really believe that any of us are average. We all have God-given gifts, talents and abilities that go way beyond average. The issue here is that we often settle for average and do not build upon these gifts, talents and abilities. Start simple...choose one area and grow in that area. Simple forward motion, done consistently will ensure that we go beyond expectations.
Rule #7: Dress Up. I'm sorry if this seems a little old fashion, but I think it is key to being successful. Since my first day as a professional teacher 15 years ago, I've worn a tie. In fact, even when I had a full day where I'm working from home, I still dress up and wear a tie. Our dress dictates how we perform. Dress up and your mindset will change (there's actually science on this). I know it is not the most comfortable nor the most convenient, but do it and you'll see what I'm talking about. Oh, and the whole idea of dress down Fridays...a ridiculous notion. Isn't Friday just as important as the rest of the days, or perhaps even more important because an effective Friday makes and even better Monday?
There is it - The 7 Rules of Work. Obviously, this list could be expanded upon and more depth could be given to each rule, but start here and you'll be well on your way of building the road of success towards meeting the expectations of work.
Jason Hunt is a John C Maxwell certified leadership trainer and speaker. He uses his 15 years of experience in education to provide dynamic, fun and engaging sessions which focus on developing leaders by teaching sound principles and practices, increasing one's influence with others. These include integrity, trust, communication, having faith in others and putting people first. He believes that the best leaders are those are developing others into leaders.