How to Become a High Performing Employee

So how do you become a high performing employee and progress your career? Estelle James, Director at Robert Half, tell us more this video:



Are you a high-performing employee? Do you receive praise for your work in team meetings? Do your colleagues call upon you for advice because you’re known as the expert in your field? Becoming a high performance employee will not only help improve your chances for a salary increase or bonus and progress your career, it can also be very self-satisfying, giving you that little bit of extra pride in the work you do.

Robert Half asked HR directors across the UK what attributes were found in high performance employees - and while being results focused and having development potential figured prominently - the number one response was having strong communication and interpersonal skills. Not only does this mean having effective verbal and written communication skills, it also includes good presentation and team building capabilities and the potential for demonstrating leadership within the organisation.

Now, for those of us who are not overly outgoing or a social butterfly, don’t fret. Being a good communicator doesn’t mean that you have to be overtly chatty; it just means that you are able to speak clearly and concisely, offering insight and working alongside others to accomplish business goals and strategy. Relating to your colleagues and staying positive and calm, even in stressful situations are also key attributes.

Setting goals and delivering results, demonstrating your experience and potential as well as your commercial skills are also critical to your success. Many of the HR directors we surveyed are helping develop high performing employees by offering personalised training and development, increased exposure to the business and opportunities for promotion. But don’t wait for your manager to carve out your career development plan, take control by setting goals and taking the necessary steps to progress your career.

So how does you become a high performing employee?

  • Become an expert. 

If you want to be a high performer, you can’t rest on your laurels. Continually upgrade your performance, setting goals and exceeding expectations. Take seminars, watch webinars and read professional publications to keep your skills sharp. Looking to build your communication skills? Joining Toastmasters or a similar organisation will force you to practice and hone your skills.

  • Know your competition. 

Who are the leaders in your company or industry and who are the up-and-comers? Find out who excels in their work and either emulate, or better yet, exceed your competitors’ standards. Define what you consider the highest level of performance for your job and challenge yourself to surpass your goals.

  • Blow your trumpet. 

While some people may worry they are bragging, highlighting your achievements and sharing them with senior management makes good career sense. Bringing up praise from colleagues or clients in annual reviews or meetings with your manager may also help you position yourself for a promotion when one comes available. If you’re interviewing with another firm, having measurable examples of success will help you stand out from the competition.

  • Act in the present. 

Have you ever said  that you’re going to get around to something when you have time, creating an endless list of tasks that never seem to get done? The most successful individuals act with both action and speed, often ticking off tasks while others still just go through their usual paces. Regardless of your profession, acting in the here and now will help with your career progression.

  • Find a mentor, or two, or three. 

The most successful professionals are those who have a mentor who can help advise them on their career path or even day-to-day issues that arise in the workplace. Surrounding yourself with other ‘driven professionals’, perhaps organising a monthly gathering to discuss plans will keep you on track as vocalising your goals will hold you accountable.

  • Write it down. 

Resolutions should never simply be an activity every time the new year comes around. Identifying and writing down your career progression goals and aspirations will keep them top of mind, allowing you to tick them off the list and advancing yourself during the process.

Becoming a high performer requires hard work and dedication, but is within your grasp should you want it badly enough.



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