Can you be both a highly productive employee and be an employee that everyone loves to work with? Is it possible to be both great at your work and be great to work with?
Being great at work simply means working smarter – maximizing the value of your work by prioritizing select activities and applying targeted effort to those activities. The conventional strategy of working more hours to be more productive actually reduces productivity. Rather, employing strategies that enable you to work smarter allows you to apply higher focus on a few activities.
For example, Jim Collins, author of Great by Choice, suggests the strategy of, “Do less, then obsess” as one of the most effective ways of being more productive . By narrowing your to-do list down to a few priorities, and by managing time effectively, you can be more efficient and productive.
Employees often feel stifled by processes, procedures, and established norms that exist in their workplace. Thus, employees should empower themselves to become “work innovators,” adapting and creating new ways of working within their organization despite these engrained norms. Work innovation will help employees create purposeful, intentional work practices, rather than allowing them to emerge organically. Once they do so, employees will be able to empower their coworkers to do the same – creating a highly collaborative and productive workforce.
Being great at your work also requires you match your passion with a sense of purpose. This allows you to strike a balance between doing what you love and contributing to society or the world in a meaningful way. Passion without purpose can be an aimless endeavor – so employees should seek roles within their organizations that tap into their passions and provide them a strong sense of purpose in their work.
Getting more out of the hours you work, rather than working more hours, helps to boost productivity, establish better work-life balance, and prevent burnout. Employees who embody good work-life balance experience less burnout and are happier; consequently, they are great to work with.
But what exactly does it mean to be great to work with? Some of the most frequently cited qualities of great coworkers are timeliness, humility, responsiveness, and respect. Bottom line, the fundamental quality of a good colleague is emotional intelligence – or rather your self-awareness and ability to identify and appropriately respond to others’ emotions.
Self-awareness helps you recognize your own strengths and limitations, knowing when to help others and when to ask others for help. In cultivating this self-awareness, you will be able to build meaningful, trusting relationships with your colleagues.
All this to say that being great at work and great to work with go hand-in-hand. However, it requires intentional, purposeful cultivation of effective work practices and a culture that empowers employees to match their passion with a sense of purpose.
The Engineering Leadership Institute has matched its passion with a sense of purpose in creating our revolutionary Performance Certification System (PCS). Paired with our Team Leader Guide, the PCS offers leaders and their teams the tools to intentionally develop targeted work practices and create collaborative, high-performing teams. ELI also offers custom consulting packages to help organizations build a culture of collaboration, satisfaction, purpose, and high-performance. If you are serious about unleashing your team’s potential, contact ELI today!