How to Become an Indispensable Employee

The job market is fluid, and depending on the economy and other internal factors, organizations can find themselves needing to cut workers or restructure to stay afloat or streamline expenses.

So what can you, as an employee, do to make yourself a team member that your company won't want to lose?

Every organization has employees who are "keepers" no matter what; those who keep things up and running, have intimate knowledge of specific processes, or make life more enjoyable for everyone around them.

Are you one of those people? Would you like to be? Here are some characteristics of highly-valued team members.

Qualities of Great Team Members

No matter how good the job market, job security is front-and-center on most of our minds. This becomes even more important if we rely financially on the job or it is a job we really enjoy. Here are nine ways to make yourself indispensable to your organization, even when cuts have to be made:

1.      Be Dependable

One way to be indispensable at work is to be someone who can be depended on. This includes being punctual, consistently productive, and reliable. If your team members and supervisors recognize you as someone they can depend on so much that they don't feel things will run well without you, you’ve made great strides in securing your position.

2.      Stay Productive

Aim to be highly productive every day. This shouldn’t be confused with being the fastest employee. While it's important to be cognizant of the time it is taking you to complete tasks, it is equally important to complete them correctly the first time. Additionally, think about what you do on a daily basis and how you can improve productivity. Your boss will appreciate your consistent, quality work and will welcome ideas you have to make your department or your company more successful.

3.      Master a Specific Skill

Whether it is the IT guy that everyone calls when their computers are on the fritz or the gal that knows exactly how to calm an irate customer, we all have that “go-to” person at work. Think about your work environment and how you can begin to learn a valuable skill that will make you the go-to in your company. Maybe this means that you train for a particular task when someone who currently performs the task is leaving the company, or maybe there is a new piece of equipment or technology that you can initiate training on. Regardless, learning an essential skill that few other people can perform will make your job more secure.

4.      Go Above and Beyond

Be willing to do more than the bare minimum your job requires. Your manager and your team will appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile to keep things running smoothly. One way to do this is to volunteer to take on jobs or projects that no one else wants. You can also take the initiative to go beyond your basic responsibilities or come up with new ideas that will help with business processes. Managers take notice of and appreciate these qualities in an employee.

5.      Have a Great Attitude

This seems like a no-brainer, but it is worth mentioning. It's easy to become complacent and even to begin to get cranky when you are in the trenches day in and day out. But people who exude positivity bring enormous value to those around them and can boost productivity and morale with their mere presence.  This kind of effect is invaluable to management and can make you an employee worth hanging onto when tough cuts need to be made.

6.      Be a Team Player

If you want to be indispensable, become an amazing team player. Not only will those in management take note, other members of your team will appreciate you. You can do this by helping co-workers when they run into problems, volunteering to take the lead on projects, and going beyond your basic job description to get things done.

7.      Have Good Communication Skills

The ability to communicate effectively both orally and in written form is a high-demand skill in our tweeting, texting digital world. If you are a good public speaker or writer, chances are you will be more highly valued in your role.

8.      Fine-Tune Your People Skills

We have all known or worked with people that are highly unpleasant. Maybe they look like they are perpetually sucking on lemons, are prone to gossip, or their demeanor brings down the entire team. Don't be "that guy" (or gal). Instead, apply the golden rule—treat others with kindness and respect, the way you would like to be treated. A team member that knows how to work well with everyone around him/her is an asset to an organization.

9.      Be a Personal Leader

If you are committed to being a personal leader, you will always strive to reach your ultimate potential. Employers will appreciate your willingness to grow and cultivate growth in those around you. Learn more about effective personal leadership here.

Concluding Thoughts

While there is no way to guarantee you will keep a job, utilizing the nine tips above will make you an employee that management will fight to keep!

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a personal leader and developing the skills above, please contact us. Leadership Excellence has been developing individuals, teams, and management in the Cleveland area for over a decade. Contact us today! We can show you how to be the kind of team member or executive that your organization will consider indispensable!