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How to increase your performance on the job

Ogugua Belonwu
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Posted on December 1, 2015;

You see, for most persons, getting their dream job is a matter of moving from one job to another, one organization to the next, until they get to the job that they find most exciting and fulfilling. Then they decide to settle down and build their career from there. 

But that may be after spending many years from one job to the other. Many persons spend the first few years of their career in search of their most fulfilling job. And so for the first few years of their career, they hardly are able to build skills or experiences and gain mastery on a particular job since they are not stable and focused. 

Contrary to the conception that in order to get your dream job, you have to keep moving until you find the job that you will be most excited about, I encourage those I speak to, to understand that any job could be transformed to the job they had always dreamed of. So I share with them on how to transform their job to the job of their dreams by performing excellently. It is kind of like transforming your spouse to the person of your dreams rather than searching about for the perfect person who doesn’t exist.

These three keys of excellent job performance are gotten from my interaction with persons I consider very successful in their careers. Although there are many determinants of an employee’s growth rate in any organization, these three to me are the most crucial factors and encompass most others. If excellent job performance can be measured by how fast a person rises up an organization’s ladder to a high position of influence, then the following three powerful keys will take you there in no time:

Know Your Organization

Now that you have gotten the job, you will need to assume that you know nothing about the organization and be ready to learn. You will need to be very inquisitive to ask questions, read materials and make findings in order to have full understanding of the organization you are working for. 

Usually, when you just begin work in any organization, you are given so much attention and everyone is willing to share with you all that you want to know in order to enable you settle down well on the job. This is your opportunity to know all that is necessary for you to know and you must seize it. Have a deep understanding of your organization by finding out the following:

-    The organization’s vision and goals

-    The organization’s values and standards of performance

-    The organization’s policies, rules and regulations

-    The organization’s organogram, key leaders and their offices/positions

-    The organization’s products (services, projects, programs)

-    Who the organization partners with and the people they serve.

Knowing these things will set you up for excellence since you will become more confident when you work and when you talk about the organization. You will soon be called up often, to represent or talk for the organization from time to time.

Spend your first month on the job, having a full understanding of the organization you are working for. Ask questions, read materials, interact with people. Do all these with purpose and focus.

Know Your Immediate Supervisor

Your immediate supervisor or boss is the eye of the organization on you. His opinion about you is what the organization will use to evaluate your performance. You can perform all your best on the job but if your supervisor doesn’t approve of your performance, you may never rise to anything. I know a lot of people who have gotten frustrated by the fact that no matter how hard they tried, their efforts were always down played by their supervisor who felt they were a threat to their position. This left them with no choice but to leave for another job.

Wrapped up in the job you do is another job which is the job of impressing your supervisor. While seeking to understand the organization you are working for, you need to be gaining much understanding of who your boss is. Get to know what he likes and what he hates, what his expectations from you are, what his approach to work is, how he wants you to work with him, and so on. Some of these things, he will tell you as soon as you begin work, some you will notice while others, you will need to find out from him. Don’t assume you know him when you don’t.

After understanding who your supervisor is, use your knowledge wisely to win his trust. Once you have won his trust, a lot of good things will follow, including a rich relationship where he will be sharing with you a lot of things that will be to your advantage.

One day my boss called me and said I was a leader and did not need anyone to supervise me. He said there are persons in any organization that you can trust that with or without an eye over them, they will do the right thing. That was just about four months after I joined the organization. I felt honored and those words pushed me to give even more than I was giving.

Nurture your relationship with him by being respectful, hardworking and trustworthy. Do some informal things too. Sometimes, send him a mail or call just to greet him when he travels or to say congratulations for an accomplishment of his. These little things will go a long way and you will soon gain much favor in his sight. At this time, you will be on your way for a promotion.

Be Excited About Your Job

This is the most powerful key to an excellent job performance. You can tell who loves his/her job, even from the looks on their faces when they come to the office on Monday morning and on Friday afternoon. You will hardly make much progress on a job that you don’t really love. 

People can tell from the sense of urgency you apply to any assignment given to you, the time you come to the office and the time you leave, the way you talk about the organization, and so on. The following are indications of a person’s love for his/her work:

-    Goes to work earlier than most persons and leaves last. You cannot close from work two hours earlier than your leader and hope to rise to his position soon.

-    Goes to work on some public holidays. Very few persons can do this. Do it sometimes and see how much credibility it adds to you.

-    Takes breaks only when necessary. Many persons take breaks even when they spend substantial time out of their work hours, doing nothing. Ask yourself each time you have to go for break: “Do I need it?”

-    Makes sacrifices for the organization by doing things that many other persons will not willingly do. You will be seen as a dependable person and will be loved.

-    Is seen always busy in his/her office during working hours. Avoid being in other offices doing nothing, or spending time chatting with colleagues. Don’t be an eye servant.

-    Takes the initiative to do things for the organization. Be innovative.

-    Grabs any opportunity to learn new skills that will improve on the way he/she does his/her job. 

-    Reads widely to gain more knowledge of his/her job and improve on his performance. 

These attitudes will make your leaders to see you as responsible and treat you accordingly.

The above three powerful keys will propel you towards an excellent job performance as you will soon be noticed and brought to the lime light for promotion. 

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