Business Skills

Be The Best Possible

The Quality Of Your Work Is a Measure Of The Quality Of Yourself

By Australian Business Limited and Australian Commonwealth ITR Department

Adapted by Dean Prebble and Prof. Howard Frederick, Ten3 NZ Ltd.

The quality of your work is a measure of the quality of yourself.  We all derive pride and self-esteem from accomplishing tasks in an excellent fashion.  Successful completion of a worthy task means that it was not only attempted, but it was completed to certain standards of performance or better.  Worthy means it was something that needed doing whether it was typing of a document or diagnosis of an illness.  It was a task that somebody had to do and do correctly.

High levels of remuneration and job security are dependent upon three keys; what you do, how well you do it and how difficult it is to replace you.  Accordingly, our highly competitive employment market only pays superior rewards to recipients who render worthy superior performances.

Your goal at work should therefore be to get good, get better and to be the best possible, to such a point where you seemingly become indispensable to the organisation.  Here are ten concepts to help you improve your levels of quality and excellence at work:

  1. Good enough seldom is.  Organisations that are continually productive and profitable incessantly strive for quality and excellence.  Acknowledging that your customers are not prepared to accept an attitude of "that's good enough," how does your organisation's quality standards rate as against its competitors?  How do your own personal levels of excellence and quality rate against your current and potential competitors in the employment market?  If you don't know the answer/s to these questions, then resolve to find them out immediately.  The longer you delay, the larger the gap may be growing between you and your competition!

  2. Quality is not just product related.  Quality is not just the product; it's a combination of the product and "add-ons," i.e. packaging, availability, convenience of use and value adding customer service, etc.  The same applies to you in the employment market. Possessing a tertiary qualification may only get you 50% of the way towards being internally promoted or externally employed.  The other 50% will depend upon what your acquired "add-ons" are, i.e. what makes you more valuable than your competitor in the mind of potential employers/customers.  Ask yourself "what value adding skills have I acquired and applied to my work within the past 2 years that demonstrate skill flexibility, continuing career development and quality as an employee?"

  3. Quality and excellence are not what you say they are.  Quality and excellence are what your customers say they are.  Customers of your products and services define quality! When was the last time you asked a customer for an honest opinion of the goods and services you and your organisation provide?  Organisations and individuals that want to get ahead and succeed (your competitors), are prepared to meet regularly with customers and appraise performance levels, continuously seeking improvement.  The same applies in the employment market.  Employers determine excellence and quality.  Smart people in charge of their careers recognise this fact and are therefore continuously researching for needs, trends and opportunities within their existing employment environment and in future areas of the employment market they are attracted to.  Thus they can then acquire new skills to meet changing employment needs, to stay one step ahead of the competition.

  4. Exceed expectations.  Go the extra mile, do things faster, do things with greater sincere friendliness, for your customers, employer, family and for yourself!

  5. Continuous creativity.  Every member of an organisation can be creative. The key towards discovering and maximising your creativity is to be a member of an organisation that offers a work environment that encourages individual and team creativity.  These organisations understand that value innovation and entrepreneurial creativity are the very source of excellence and quality when applied to customer service, delivery, distribution, sales and marketing and employee productivity, etc.

  6. Be a team player.  The most valuable single factor that contributes towards high levels of excellence and quality in a team, stem from an individual team member's ability to work with others, i.e. his or her levels of cooperation and communication.  These "social intelligence" skills include the ability to persuade, negotiate, compromise and make others feel important.

  7. Know who you are.   Being inwardly happy (knowing you are competent and capable) automatically improves levels of quality and excellence in your work.  Understand that inner happiness only comes about via Self esteem + Self respect + Personal Pride.  Get these ingredients right and with careful written planning the rest will simply fall into place.

  8. Concentrate and focus.  You cannot concentrate and focus on tasks unless you first know exactly what is expected of you and how relevant tasks are to be measured.  Clarity of main tasks and responsibilities is paramount if you are to achieve excellent results.  You must know why you are on the payroll.  Only then can you focus on achieving optimum levels of performance.

  9. Know your Key Result Areas (KRAs).  Job responsibilities and corresponding KRAs can rapidly change over time. It's therefore important to know exactly what are the current KRA's upon which others will judge your levels of quality and excellence.  Do the KRAs of your current work match the original job description or has something changed?  What are your standards of performance, your highest value tasks that enable you to make an optimum contribution?  Remember the 80/20 rule: 20% of what you do, accounts for 80% of the results you achieve.

  10. Be a "Go-giver" in customer service.  It's no secret that every organisation of value in today's world economy, is focused on customer service.  The future belongs to those individuals and businesses that service their customers in a superior fashion. To get ahead, organisations must know who their customers are and what they expect.  They must deliver more.  The same applies to you as a member of the organisation.  To get ahead in your current and future employment, you must first know who you customers are (e.g., your team leader) and what their expectations of you are.  You must then deliver more than those expectations.



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