This may seem like an unusual blog topic for a property management company, but we’re a people-based business. Our staff and on-site personnel aren’t just managing a physical site, they’re managing the places where people live and work – and interacting with them daily. We rely on our staff to be the face of our company and carry through on our promises.
Over the years, I’ve come to see that it’s not just talent or qualifications that make the ideal employee – it’s their habits, attitude, and work ethic that can make the difference between someone I hire and promote, and someone who will not succeed at the job.
Take a look at the 10 things any employee can do – regardless of their skills or qualifications – that will help them stand out at their job.
- Be on time. Punctuality is a habit that requires organization and planning ahead. It takes zero talent, but it shows discipline and makes a good first impression. How often have you been in a meeting when someone saunters in late? The leader has to recap everything that’s been said to bring them up to speed, and then the meeting often runs overtime. Punctuality shows respect for other people’s time.
- Be coachable. Be open to learning new ideas and approaches. Accept constructive feedback graciously and show a desire to improve. Over a lifetime, continuous learning is one of the keys to success. I’m not a fan of the expression “been there/done that” because it suggests that there’s nothing left to learn. As a life-long adventurer, I know nothing could be further from the truth!
- Bring energy. Bring energy to the job and to the room. Not only do you lift up those around you, you show that you’re fully engaged and that this is something that you want to do, instead of something you have to do. Nothing sucks the energy out of a room faster than a person who lets out a huge sigh every time something is proposed.
- Display a strong work ethic. Cutting corners may seem like the easy way out, particularly if no one is watching, but it usually backfires. In our business, a cut corner always shows up. Do your work with integrity and dedication, and you’ll earn a long-term reputation that benefits you far more than any sloppy, short-term solution.
- Be aware of your body language. How you move and express yourself around others shapes who you are and how you are perceived. Move with confidence and energy, and that’s how people will perceive you. Lean into discussions and make eye contact, and people will feel your interest. Sit in a meeting slumped over your phone, scrolling and texting, and everyone will get the message that you have better places to be. Make sure that you’re communicating the message that you want me, your employer, to receive.
- Make an effort. There will be something in every single job that you don’t like doing: no one job will give you 100% satisfaction, 100% of the time. Even your favourite hobbies don’t offer that. When you come up against a task you dislike, don’t just go through the motions – give it the attention it deserves. Effort is as much a mindset as a behaviour. I often start with the tasks I detest most just to get them off my plate, and then focus on the things that give me energy. That said, if you find your job is full of “have to’s” rather than “want to’s”, you’re probably in the wrong job.
- Have a positive attitude. A positive attitude is essential to creating a supportive environment in which creativity and problem-solving can flourish. I’ve noticed that when a team seems unhappy, or isn’t functioning well, it’s often due to negativity from one or two members that is poisoning the entire group. Treat everyone with respect, regardless of your personal feelings.
- Be passionate. The enthusiasm you show when you are passionate about something can be contagious – even if it’s a passionate difference of opinion (as long as you remain respectful).
Your passion also gives you the fuel to keep going when things don’t go your way – never let it turn into resentment, make it work for you.
- Do extra. Doing something extra in a situation rarely costs you much, but it makes you stand out from the crowd. Look for opportunities and take initiative.
- Be prepared. Give yourself the time and space to be as ready as you can be. Make it a habit, and you will be ready when opportunity arrives, or a curveball is thrown. Sometimes, I’ve prepared so thoroughly for a meeting that the issue of concern simply dissolves. Preparedness shows people that you care enough about the job, or the client meeting, to invest your time and energy – and it gives you confidence. Winging it, no matter how talented or charming you are, can only take you so far.