Be Your Company’s MVP (Most Valued Performer)

January 6th, 2012

Businesses have always sought valued employees, these days more than ever. When a company’s resources are scarce and the number of jobs is limited, there’s a lot of pressure on employers to make sure they have true MVPs (Most Valued Performers) on staff. These are the individuals they rely on. Savvy business owners know that growth doesn’t happen with mediocre employees.

So how do you go about standing out in a crowd? What habits or attributes are most important in gaining MVP status?

Healthy self-esteem. Excellent performers feel good about themselves – which is not the same thing as being arrogant about their talents and abilities. These things can’t always be measured, but ideally there’s a healthy combination of self-esteem, self-respect and self-confidence. You’re not going to be valuable to others if you don’t feel you have anything of value to share.

Find out where you stand. In most workplaces, you can learn more about your MVP status just by asking your boss. (Of course, this depends on having a healthy relationship in the first place.) If you demonstrate the willingness to listen to an objective critique (what are my strengths? what are my weaknesses?), chances are you’ll come away with a clear understanding of the value you currently bring to the organization and how you might change to offer more value in the months ahead.

Put in the time. How do people perceive your work ethic? They can’t tell just be watching you sit at your desk. But if you’re consistently the first one to show up in the morning and the last to leave at night, it gets noticed. This alone demonstrates that you take your job seriously and that you’re committed to seeing projects through, even if it takes you past normal working hours.

Come up with great ideas. It’s one thing to do the work you’re paid to do. It’s quite another if you come up with innovative suggestions for improving work-flow or a new way to satisfy customers that no one’s thought of before. Everyone who’s ever had a job has had insights into how to make things run better. Those who step forward and offer helpful ideas are valued. Those who complain and do nothing about it – well, their days may be numbered.

Share credit for work well-done. Nine times out of ten, a successful project or initiative isn’t the result of a solo effort. If your boss singles you out for praise, don’t hog the spotlight. Let your boss know that others on your project team really came through as well. Making other people look good doesn’t have to come at your expense. In fact, most people remember others who shared credit with them, and are likely to exhibit the same behavior in the future.

True MVPs don’t watch the clock and don’t skip corners. They’re excited and enthusiastic about what they do, and they’re committed to helping the business grow.