What makes employees go the extra mile?

by Duncan

Picture the scene.

It’s 5:25pm. You’ve spent a whole day in the office and you’re just about ready to go home. All of a sudden your line manager comes up to you all in a fluster, wanting an urgent report to be written ready for a 9am meeting the next day. What do you do?

Do you:

a) Apologise and say you have to be heading home? Or

b) Say you’ll help get it written and go that extra mile?

According to new report from 360 feedback provider ETS, workers that choose option B are far more engaged with their work and understand what’s expected of them. With that in mind, here are a few top tips from ETS on how you can learn to love your job and move from being an a) worker to a b) one!

#1 – Understand your role

Many of us have a job description, but just who can remember exactly what it is we do? We’re given so many different tasks on a daily basis, it can be incredibly difficult to work out what our roles actually are. Don’t believe it? Well imagine you’re at a party and someone comes up to you and says: “What do you do at work?”

What do you reply?

Key in going the extra mile for your employer is to actually understand your role. If you know what your key 4-6 responsibilities are, it will not only help keep you focused on a day-to-basis, it will help you manage your time and give you an excellent basis for performance reviews.

#2 – Believe in your leaders

When considering whether or not to go the extra mile, belief in your leaders plays an incredibly large part. After all, why would you go all out for a manager who you don’t trust, respect or believe in? The data from ETS shows that if an employee has a leader with strong principles, strong direction and strong motivational skills, they will go above and beyond the call of duty.

But how can you believe in your leaders if you simply think they aren’t good enough? Simple. Position yourself as a leader.

Start of by taking responsibility for everything you do. Admit your mistakes, and take success graciously when it comes. Adopt a positive mental attitude and inspire and encourage your colleagues. Try new things – don’t be afraid to take risks… leaders take risks. Be open to criticism and regularly solicit feedback from your peers. Finally, give your all to your role – from writing reports and documents, to getting down ideas ideas and plans. If you can show you’re leadership material and go the extra mile your career will blossom.

#3 – Communication is key

According to ETS, employees that feel they can communicate their feelings upwards in the company are far more willing to go that extra mile. If communication is lacking at your place of work, start off by speaking to your manager and finding out what their priorities are – this will help you work out what you need to do first, second and third. If the communication channels are open then you will be able to develop goals and action plans. This will help when it comes down to your appraisal – and you’ll be more likely to get a promotion or rate.

On top of this, it’s worth putting in place an action plan with your manager to regularly review your progress, gain feedback and give input into the way the business is going.

Finally, remember than communication should not just be limited to those people you meet with and speak with every day. It’s worthwhile making contacts with colleagues throughout your organisation as it helps show you how your role impacts on the company as a whole. It will give you an overview of how what you do on a day-to-day basis affects others, as well as give you information on how you rely on others in your role. On top of this it will give you an insight into potentially new prospects, projects or positions.

Author bio: This guest post was provided by ETSplc, a provider of 360 feedback and employee surveys. For more information please visit the website or follow us on Twitter @etsplc.

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