Does Your Workplace Allow You to Flourish as an Employee?
Does your workplace allow you to flourish as an employee? To maximize your talents, you need to work in an environment that allows you to do that. Do you work in a place where they value and appreciate your gifts and talents? Even though this is the ideal work scenario, you may not end up in a company that has that kind of culture. However, as an employee, you can create an environment where you can flourish even when your manager or the organization does not provide it for you. Here are some strategies you can use.
Create new opportunities
You can create opportunities for yourself by proposing new ideas. For example, early in my career I saw a need to have a position dedicated to servicing business clients. I wrote a job description for a cash management representative position and presented it to my boss. I told him I was the only candidate for the job and that I was ready to move into it. He approved it, and I got promoted. At that time, I had the perfect environment to flourish and use many of my talents. My boss was the kind of person who allowed his employees to succeed. He provided opportunities to all the employees in his department.
Sometimes you need several factors to work together such as timing and your own readiness. You have to prepare yourself for a while so you are ready for the new job when it opens up. You must time it right with the needs of the organization. Learning to do both takes time as you acquire strategic skills to manage your career.
Initiate the conversation
Let your manager know you are interested in doing additional duties even if they are beyond the scope of your job. This tells your manager your willingness to learn and not afraid to try new things.
On several occasions I offered to perform duties without getting paid that were beyond my job description and above my pay scale. For example, I volunteered to attend conferences that were meant for the board directors, not for the CFO. I offered to go and come back with a summary of the most important information to train the directors. It was a win-win. They didn’t have to go, and I learned and got to train them. I initiated those conversations, and new doors opened for me.
It’s important to first get to know yourself by taking several assessments on your own and then you share them with your managers so they learn more about you. Most managers appreciate it and gain from knowing you better. At some point in our working lives, most of us will encounter a bad manager who has no interest in developing his/her employees, but such managers are hopefully the exceptions. Part of self-disclosure includes sharing the type of organizational culture you work best in. Self-disclosure can open new doors for you and create an environment where you can flourish.
Ask questions about your position to clarify your job expectations and role. Ask your manager how she or he wants you to do certain tasks, and what’s their preferred communication style. For example, do they prefer to discuss a matter in person, by email, or phone? What time do they prefer to meet during the day?
When asking the question, “Does your workplace allow you to flourish as an employee?” What is your response? As an employee, enjoy your job, learn everything you can from it while you’re there, and explore new opportunities right where you are.
This article is an excerpt from my latest book Bring YOUR Shoes: A Fresh Perspective for Leaders with Big Shoes to Fill.