A growing number of hiring managers are no longer selecting candidates based on their job skills alone. Of course technical proficiency is an important quality in a candidate, since it can help managers reduce risk and cut training costs. But employers are now emphasizing traits that can’t always be taught, like the ability to motivate, explain, convince, inspire, and lead. When an employer decides to bring you onboard, they aren’t hiring you for your skill sets alone—they’re hiring you based on the implicit promise that your presence will elevate the environment around you.
So how can you fulfill this promise and create a positive, lasting impact on your workplace culture? Keep these tips in mind.
1. Start on the first day. When you walk in the door, stay focused on the long term and the big picture. Don’t just struggle to survive that first day, and then the next, and so on. Remember the names of everyone you meet (write them down), greet them by name when you see them, and actively launch positive relationships with each of these people.
2. Your job extends beyond your inbox. If your inbox is the only metric you use to determine your productivity, think bigger. Don’t just hang on by your fingertips and check off each item assigned to you. Consider the reasons behind these tasks and the ways they benefit the company and make your boss’s job easier. Tackle your boss’s responsibilities, not just your own.
3. Help others. Don’t just ignore confused new employees, overburdened coworkers, those who face potential embarrassment in meetings, or random strangers engaged in combat with a jammed copy machine. When you have an opportunity to help, teach, or rescue someone, take it. This gesture won’t be forgotten.
4. Praise in public, criticize in private. This rule doesn’t just apply to managers. It applies to everyone, even the lowliest intern. When you have a complaint or criticism for any person above or below you on the corporate ladder, speak up. Just do so tactfully behind closed doors. And when you have something nice to say, by all means, don’t keep your positive thoughts to yourself.
The best way to influence your workplace culture is simple: Set an example. Imagine the workplace you’d like to see around you and become an integral part of that scene. Lead the way. For more on how to make a great impression and launch your career in the right direction, contact the staffing and management experts at PSU.