It is common for employers to stress efficiency from their employees. Their primary reason for insisting on this is the impact it will have on the bottom line. However, many employees are finding that there are good reasons to take a proactive approach in the workplace, both for themselves and the business. Consider five benefits that come from being more proactive at work.
1. Foresee and React to Problems
Anticipating problems will help you be more prepared when they arise. Planning for various difficulties will put you in a position to respond more effectively to whatever challenges occur, even if they are not the ones you prepared for.
For instance, you may develop emergency communications plans. It may not be necessary to implement these plans. However, your company may face the challenge of a staff shortage. Likely, there will be aspects of the other plan that you can apply in principle to the issue you are dealing with. Additionally, by planning in advance for potential problems, you will also be able to develop procedures for reducing the likelihood of the difficulties taking place in the first place.
2. Prioritize Workflow
There are a number of benefits that can be realized by doing this, including being in a position to control your calendar, prioritizing individual tasks and developing work methods that maximize efficiency.
Your calendar becomes a project management tool, in effect, that will lead to efficient processes. In fact, much of the software used to manage projects are robust scheduling tools with calendars serving as the foundation. Not only can you schedule meetings, but you can also set specific benchmarks for tasks like responding to questions and sending follow-up emails.
3. Address Customer Concerns
This is an area where you can turn your suppliers, vendors, workmates, managers and customers into your biggest fans. There are a couple of ways to do this. First, try to anticipate requests in advance. By anticipating what may be on others' minds, you can appear to be a hero for addressing issues before they arise.
Secondly, handling complaints that do arise in an urgent and proficient manner can turn potential disasters into opportunities. As hard as you may try to prevent problems, they will occur. By responding in a caring manner and addressing the concern immediately you will develop loyal relationships with all the parties mentioned above.
4. Establish Strong Working Relationships
Creating lasting working relationships is essential to being successful in your job, especially if your role requires working with different types of people. For instance, if your position requires managing relationships with different entities like subcontractors and material suppliers, it will be to your advantage to develop strong relationships with the individuals in these companies you will be working with on a regular basis.
View them as partners. Coming up with ideas together will prove more beneficial than just giving orders. It shows these external parties that you value their expertise and that your success is partly dependent on them. Providing commendation and encouragement will go a long way in building these solid partnerships especially with your startup business.
You will find that this is effective internally, as well. Perhaps, you do not have employees who report to you directly. However, your job may require that you work closely with others in your company who work in other departments. Working with them in a respectful, appreciative manner will make them want to go out of their way to provide you what you need when you need it.
5. Communicate Effectively
This starts with being a good listener. Most people struggle with this. By asking thought-provoking questions and listening attentively to responses, you can prevent many problems. Listening is also essential when difficulties do arise. For example, if a colleague takes issue with the way you may have handled a certain matter, overreacting can make the issue worse. On the other hand, taking time to listen to his or her concerns, perhaps asking clarification questions, may help you both conclude that you are dealing with a simple misunderstanding.
Clear communication is also essential with written correspondence. Whether you are writing a proposal, a contract or a letter, using language that is simple and clear will prevent confusion and potential conflicts.
Talking on the phone or texting are other areas where communication can go wrong. To avoid miscommunication, it is a good idea to conclude the conversation by summarizing what was agreed to. In fact, you may even want to write out the summary and share it with the other party.
It is hard to argue that proactivity in the workplace will result in numerous benefits. The challenge for many when it comes to being proactive is that they feel it will take up unnecessary time. By changing your mindset to having a more proactive approach to work, you will find that you will actually save a significant amount of time in the long term. The benefits discussed are just the beginning of the positive results that can be realized.