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How to Be Liked by Everyone at Work and Get Promoted Quickly

How to Be Liked by Everyone at Work and Get Promoted Quickly

Lots of people are convinced that their solid, hard work will automatically be noticed at the office, and that as a result they will get promoted. Unfortunately, this is not always true. Another misconception is that being popular and liked by everyone is not really so important in the workplace. The importance of being well-liked is often underestimated. In this post, I want to outline the 7 best ways to be liked, improve your image, and help get promoted quickly.

1. Tell management what you have achieved

Don’t assume your line manager has seen all your great work. There will be opportunities to mention your successful projects and also how you have met deadlines. Some people are shy about blowing their own horns. But if you do this diplomatically, you can be in a very strong position to get promoted when it comes up. You have had great results and they are backed up by figures, assessments, and reports.

2. Manage your personal brand effectively

One of the most effective ways to improve your image is to share your knowledge and skills with coworkers. Sharing and caring is the best way of managing your own brand because people will appreciate all your assets and talents. They will not resent this because you have helped them. You will be very popular.

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Your personal brand is going to shine if you are capable of looking after the following:

  • People skills
  • Team building
  • Coaching
  • Positive approaches to problem solving

Showcasing your achievements will go hand in hand with your ability to coach and mentor others. These in turn will be key factors in your aim to get promoted.

3. Think outside the box and be creative

When we think of Velcro, Aspirin, Viagra and other inventions, we are thinking of products in the “serendipity zone.” The serendipity zone is where chance and good luck played a key role in many discoveries. It would be naïve to think of serendipity as good fortune alone. It is much more than that. I often prefer to think if it as a close relative of creativity because it is your ability to take an unusual idea and make creative use of it. This is difficult to achieve as we tend to have tunnel vision at work.

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Look at the example of Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks. He was sent to Milan to buy coffee beans. He noticed that coffee bars there had a social function and were a key social and business meeting point. The combination of coffee and networking seemed to work perfectly. His management rejected his idea because they were not interested in going into catering or running restaurants. Schultz left the company and started his own coffee shop. That was the birth of Starbucks.

Take the quiz here to see how good you are at earning serendipity. Showing your ability to think creatively outside the box could be a great asset in your quest to get promoted.

4. Work and collaborate with colleagues to get liked

Being a great team player and working collaboratively are always looked for when decisions are made about who will get promoted. Your working attitude and your relationships with colleagues will be a determining factor in your career. It is well worth investing time in the following:

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  • Be friendly–make it your default attitude
  • Respect other people’s opinions–be an active and polite listener
  • Offer to help colleagues when they have problems
  • Show appreciation for work done–leave a post-it or send an email
  • Be a ‘can do’ person always—rarely say no and do not complain if a task seems too difficult
  • Avoid negative and toxic office politics; use diplomacy wisely
  • Avoid getting into a complaining mode—nobody likes a whiner; always see the positive side
  • Be cheerful—people will naturally be attracted to you.

5. Go the extra mile

You will be measured by your results. Striving to over-deliver is always a great way to give management and colleagues a positive impression. Avoid shortcuts and make excellence (not perfection) your trademark.

6. Avoid getting into a rut

“If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door—or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.” – Joan Rivers

Getting into a rut can be fatal to your efforts to get promoted. Look around and see what is happening in your industry. Keep up to date and network as far as possible. Examine your skills set and ask for new training opportunities whenever they are offered. This will help you in getting promoted, as you can match your skills set with the job requirements. If you get into a rut, it sometimes means you are in a tunnel and there is no light at the end of it—not even an oncoming train!

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7. Decide whether to move on

Often a career move is the best way to get promoted. If you no longer feel passionate about your job, or if your employer is not showing appreciation of your work and talent, then it may be time to consider leaving your company. You could also mention what your career plans are in the performance assessment. When your manager fails to give you new opportunities for growth and advancement, then it may be time to consider a move. You might want to consider the following questions before deciding:

  • Do your skills and competencies match the job requirements?
  • Will they offer you a chance to grow and advance your career?
  • What is the company culture?
  • Are there adequate human resources in the department/team you are applying to?
  • How much training for skills development are available and how is this encouraged?
  • What is the average tenure for the position?

These are just pointers to consider before deciding that to move up you may have to move on.

We have looked at the various ways to improve your professional image and also how to get on the fast track for promotion. Let us know in the comments what you did to get liked and get promoted.

Featured photo credit: Image of two young businessmen using touchpad at meeting via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on December 5, 2018

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

How do they do it?

By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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3. Demand Learning from Your Team

CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

“The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

“We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

  • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
  • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
  • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
  • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
  • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
  • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

  • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
  • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
  • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
  • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
  • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

    “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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  • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
  • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
  • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
  • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

10. Empower Your Employees

Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

11. Nurture Your Company Culture

Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

Be a Leader, Not a Boss

Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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