Leading recruiters reveal their top tips for becoming the best possible employee. Alex Miller reports
Nobody is perfect but that does not mean you should not work on being a model employee and there are a number of tips and considerations for how you can work towards this.
Good organisation skills are important and, by splitting up tasks and prioritising work according to deadlines and your schedule, you can achieve this. Another way you can stay organised is by having a daily to-do list so that you can tick things off as they are completed and can review your list throughout the day to make sure you are on schedule.
Being punctual is also vital. Do your best to arrive on time for work and meet deadlines and avoid wasting anyone’s time by being punctual for meetings or training, whether on the phone or in person. If people know they can rely on you, they will trust you to deliver.
‘Being a model employee isn't just showing up on time,’ says Marcus Johnson, operating director at Michael Page Finance. ‘Punctuality is vital but it's also important to be positive and enthusiastic, accept constructive feedback and demonstrate reliability in the workplace.
‘Work on key projects that will help build your profile in the business and position yourself as an expert with niche skills and knowledge. Be willing to educate others and gain yourself the status as being an invaluable training asset.’
Being connected and building positive relationships with key stakeholders is equally important, as establishing good working relationships highlights strong interpersonal skills, teamwork and collaboration.
Joss Collins, a financial services specialist recruiter at Venn Group, concurs: ‘It’s critical to maintain good client relations and also to get on with co-workers. Having an abrasive relationship with some of your colleagues is just going to put another issue on the plate of your managers, so look to be a positive presence whenever you can.’
Employers want to see their employees succeed, and prefer to avoid losing top financial performers. By adding value to your employer, not only are you displaying a strong commitment to your team and the business as a whole, but it also holds you in good stride when it comes to career advancement.
You should also seek to better yourself in terms of professional development and keep up to date with the market and the skills that will be required by your employer. Make sure you also flag any training opportunities that you think may be relevant as this shows you’re keen to become a better employee.
‘Successful employees are constantly updating their skills, keeping in the know with relevant regulation and industry changes that will affect to their role,’ says Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK. ‘Stay abreast of new accounting regulations by attending courses and webinars to keep your skills current.
‘The role of accounting and finance has evolved and it now plays a wider role in business. Employers expect that, as finance professionals, you are able to confidently communicate with other parts of the business. Improving your communication skills allows you to interact more effectively within the business when presenting results or innovative solutions.’
Improving your productivity is an important contribution to any business. Don’t hesitate to suggest a different way of doing things if you sense it will lead to positive returns.
‘Remember to be a team player,’ says Karen Young, director at Hays Accountancy & Finance.
‘Being a team player shows you are happy to work as part of the team, giving credit where it’s due and being open to feedback and respecting your colleagues can help to show you are a true team player.’