Create a personal brand that helps you stand out in the workplace.
People may have differing reasons for wanting to stand out at work. Some employees might want consideration for a promotion to supervisor or another role. Others may want to get noticed for hard work and dedication to the job. Employees can have difficulty setting themselves apart from the crowd, especially if nearly everyone has the same general ambitions — even in small businesses that might employ anywhere from five to 50 people. Standing out often involves blending in and conforming to the workplace itself.
Small businesses commonly have limited staffs and skeleton crews, and every employee is important. Managers expect loyalty from workers, especially in small operations because so much is riding on each person’s commitment and dedication to keeping up productivity levels. Chronic absenteeism and attrition can severely impact operations. According to an article on HR.com in 2011, small business employee loyalty dropped to 44 percent, which was the lowest figure in three years.
Issuing an employee handbook should be standard practice at any business, but many small businesses may not have the time and resources to make a booklet. However, employees should use previous employment experiences and personal judgment to exemplify professionalism on the job. Some employee policies are implied, even if not written, such as calling the manager when you are running late, instead of just showing up. If your workplace does not have a dress code policy, dress conservatively, especially if you face and interact with customers. Avoid brightly colored hair styles, excessive make up and flashy jewelry. Most business managers already adhere to a professional dress code, as expected. Your compliance as an employee may actually help you stand out, even if your overall look is bland and boring.
Know the Mission
Large corporations and enterprises commonly publish the organization’s mission statement on a website for all the world to see, including investors and other stakeholders. In contrast, the mission statement for some small businesses may be very simple and general, such as “Serving customers with a smile.” However, it’s still important that all employees work toward the same goals with the same values in mind. If you are unaware of the business’s mission, ask the manager. That line of questioning alone is a way to stand out. After learning of the mission, commit to it and then exceed expectations.
Do more than your job description dictates. For example, volunteer to arrive to work earlier or stay an hour or two after your scheduled shift on the clock to help out during spikes in customer foot traffic. Of course, employees should always exercise caution and adhere to safety rules and regulations. For example, don’t work double shifts and overtime if it’s too much for your body to handle. Also, tactfully offer feedback and suggestions to management if you see where improvements can be made in the business. Although you are a regular employee now, your attention to detail and willingness to help may put you on the path to a promotion.