Get a Promotion 6: How to Improve Your Performance

people and puzzlesThis continues our series about actions that may help you get a promotion at work

When you begin to exceed the company’s expectations, you move toward a promotion. You must decide what you wish to improve: your productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, or quality of your work. You must also decide how you will improve your performance. Fortunately, you do not have to decide on your own. Your mentor and network of contacts within and outside the company may help you brainstorm ideas and develop your plan of action.

Incorporate Others in Developing Your Plan

Several people can help you improve your performance. They each assist you in different ways:

  • Your supervisor can help you understand why the company does things the way they do it. He or she can explain any restrictions, guidelines, or ideas for improvement
  • Your mentor can nurture you, guide you, and brainstorm ideas on how to improve within the corporate culture. Your mentor can also introduce you to others that can help you improve.
  • Your internal network of contacts can help you get your work done more efficiently and effectively. For example your contacts in,
    • Purchasing may teach you how to order your material more efficiently
    • Clerical staff can make your written materials clearer & more accurate
    • Operations can show you the better products to promote
    • Shipping can help you understand how to prepare your orders better
  • The Internet shares best practices, benchmarks, articles, and ideas for improving performance. You move forward when you spend 30 minutes 2-3 times a week studying
  • Your Vendors can help you reduce costs, find discounts, and improve work
  • Your professional or trade associations can share best practices from others doing the same work

Deciding What to Do

Your research and discussion will probably generate a multitude of ideas for improving your performance on the job. Eventually, you must select 1-3 specific actions. I suggest you use the Proact model to guide your decisions:

  • PRoblem: describe it
  • Objectives: what are they
  • Alternative actions: to consider
  • Tradeoffs: weighted to prioritize

Monday we will explore how charting expectations, goals & actual performance will help

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