In 2011 I wrote a post asking the question – Are you reliable?
Whilst this earlier post touched on being reliable from both a personal and work perspective, in this post I would like to dig a little deeper into how we can be reliable at work.
Are you known as the person who gets things done at work or do people avoid giving you work or dread working with you because they know you can not be counted on?
Here are my thoughts on how to be more reliable and valued at work.
Work well under pressure
All jobs have some sort of pressure involved. Obviously the level of pressure varies based on your job title.
When I was working for a sales company in Sydney a regular part of my job was sales cut off. These cut offs were every month with two important mid year and end of year cut offs.
I am proud to say that my Manager’s always relied on me to get through the large volumes of work and stressful conditions that cut off involved. This end of month process usually involved a late night at work, lots of concentration and strong attention to detail.
One year one of the girls I was working with simply got up and walked out of the office at 5 pm saying she couldn’t stay back for cutoff because her husband would not approve. I was shocked. She had abandoned the team on the busiest day of the year and destroyed her credibility.
Deliver on time
I touched on this briefly in the earlier post.
Not only should we hit our deadlines but we should also strive to deliver on budget. If we can deliver slightly early, adding even more value than the customer expected – even better.
If we constantly deliver late or take too long to complete a particular task people will start to think we are unreliable.
Deliver high quality work
There’s not much point delivering on time if the work itself is well below standard.
People will know they can count on you if you produce high quality work within the required time frames.
You don’t want to get a reputation for delivering poor quality work. You don’t have to be a perfectionist but aim to produce work of a consistently good quality.
Be a person who helps out
Nothing is more frustrating than needing a hand at work and hearing someone say (particularly when they are not busy) – that’s not in my job description. People hate this expression, so don’t use it.
When a project is due sometimes it takes all hands on deck to get the work done. If you help someone else with their project, it’s highly likely that they will help you in return when the time comes.
If you want to be viewed as reliable help people when you can.
Don’t be the office ghost
If you work in an office you probably know what I mean by this. Every now and then you come across a person who is rarely where they are supposed to be. They are frequently away from their desks (to the point you wonder if they still even sit there) and it seems that no one quite knows where they are or what they are doing most of the time.
They are rarely available when a project is at its most crucial point and seem to have an excuse for not fully participating in the workload.
Oddly enough, they materialize just in time for any free drinks or cake that might be on offer.
Be on time
This is one of my pet peeves. I am one of those people who is always early for things because I hate being late.
Make sure you turn up for meetings on time – don’t hold other people up and mess with their busy schedules by being late. Respect other people’s time. Some people have back to back meetings during the day and showing up late or not at all could throw out their entire day.
It’s also important to show up to work on time. People who are constantly strolling in late for work every morning will not be viewed as reliable.
Sometimes it’s not just about turning up on time but letting people know when you will be turning up. I once worked for a manager who only worked 4 days a week but for personal reasons didn’t want anyone to know about his working arrangement. It became obvious fairly quickly that some employees started to question his reliability. Telling them about his 4 day week might have been the better option.
Nothing screams unreliable more than someone who lies. Integrity and honesty are vital for people to be able to count on you.
Do not make empty promises. People will generally give you some leeway, however if you are caught out constantly lying your co-workers will loss trust in you. Trust is something that is very hard (and sometimes impossible) to get back.
Don’t forget things
All of us have so much to remember every day it’s just ridiculous – we all forget things from time to time.
Despite the above you want to keep this sort of behavior at work to a minimum.
Write things down to remember them. Keep lists if they work for you or write notes in your calendar or whatever electronic device you use to keep track of your tasks, appointments and workload.
Don’t let people down by forgetting things.
Do you consider yourself a reliable employee? Do the other employees know they can count on you?
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