Becoming an indispensable employee

by Ashvini on February 14, 2012 · 12 comments

in Leadership

What makes an awesome employee ? What are the ways he/she gains the status as “indispensable”?

As much as organizations would like to compare two employees only on basis of skills they possess, they know that to get great results they need great employees.

Companies compare candidate on just  the basis of their experience and on the job skills. However, things such as leadership, communication, dedication are very important factors too. People cannot be trained in them. Employees who are committed to learning by applying  them are the ones that learn these skills.

Here are a few ways, in which you can develop the skills that make you indispensable .

 Providing Quality in work

If you are in the job of writing software, you can increase your impression on your employer when your code is well written. Of course you will need to repeat the same work every time you code. That is the definition of quality. It is about completing something again and again with same standards. You can create quality work in any job.

Adding Value

You add value to the organization and customer when you go beyond the expected. As an employee, you can add value by increasing your knowledge of business and by developing your relationship with customers. When your customer rely on you they appreciate you.

Sharing knowledge

As an employee you need to help others reach their potential even though you do not manage them. Because when you help someone , you gain reputation as an expert. Organizations would love to keep such employees.

Providing complete solutions

Your company wants you to win business, repeatedly. Your customers are looking for ways to solve a business problem. They want solution that give them an edge over their competition. As a great employee you need to know how things work and then design the best solution for them. If they are really happy, they would let your employer know about that.

Showing leadership

Your customers and employer want you to proactively look for the problems and resolve them. They want to see your leadership in your area of work. They like people who are proactive and take initiative .

Follow these points consistently and become “indispensable” to your company and its customers.

What are the other things that you feel will make you indispensable to your organization?

About The Author

{ 12 comments }

Andrew March 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm

thanks for sharing this post with us, it holds very important information thank you.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena March 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

You are most welcome Andrew. Glad that you liked it :)

Aswani February 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

Thank you for sharing these valuable info. Really useful and informative. I don’t know about myself but I have tried my best to be indispensable for my organization. Now, it is with the organization to realize my worth. No more comments :-P

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Hey Aswani,

Its great to know that you are trying your best. Nice to know that you liked the ideas in the post. I feel employees can really make themselves indispensable. I have seen such employees and these points come from them too :)

Adrienne February 15, 2012 at 7:05 am

I haven’t been in the corporate world now for almost five years Ashvini so I can only respond to what I’ve known in the past.

I have always been told though that everyone is indispensable I’m afraid. I do believe though that it helps make your time at your workplace more enjoyable and appreciated when you have the right attitude, you don’t contribute to idol gossip, you show up on time, you’re eager to get the job done, help in any areas needed, eager to learn new skills and have an overall good attitude. Let’s just say it’s always worked for me.

What I would also always do before I left any position is write notes to the person who was taking my place and just share with them where they could find things and how to do my job. I’ve never really left any position on bad terms and am always eager to make that person’s transition go as smoothly as possible. It’s just something I’ve always done and I’ve received many calls after the fact thanking me for what they would call their “Bible”.

You have a great list here though Ashvini.

~Adrienne

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Hey Adrienne,

I feel that you would have been a great employee. I think the way in which you go about handing over tasks to others is just great. It was very methodical.
I know that organization love the fact that they can replace anyone. But I have seen the losses ( opportunity costs ) that were incurred because the companies lost their excellent employees. They lost a number of project, went down on customer satisfaction and had overall employee morale reduced.
In boom time, when business is good no one cares that much about employees if they leave. Only in tough time, organization would separate good from great. Unfortunately they fail to do so.

Thanks Adrienne for your telling us about your experience. I appreciate it :)

Chrysta Bairre February 15, 2012 at 6:39 am

Excellent tips, Ashvini! I love what you’ve shared and I agree on all points.

Sharing knowledge, providing complete solutions and showing leadership are three areas I most commonly see underutilized by employees. I know a lot of good employees that perform quality work consistently, and go above and beyond as it relates to their work output and call it a day.

Sharing knowledge is excellent for building positive relationships in addition to creating a reputation as an expert in your field.

Providing complete solutions allows employees to challenge their abilities and learn new skills. It’s also a great way to build your confidence! Identifying a business need and creating a solution is one of the most valuable traits in employees.

Employees can show leadership through self-leadership as well as volunteering to head up special projects or committees.

A great list of qualities for all employees to aspire to!

Chrysta

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 15, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Hi Chrysta,
Thanks for your comment.
Indispensable employees go out of the way to make their presence felt. When they are gone, their effects are felt all across the organization and it takes a lot of time to recover from that situation. I have seen this personally.
I am really glad that you liked the post :). Hope to see you here once again .

Daria Steigman February 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Hi Ashvini,

I think you’re missing one trait (and Sonia touches on it): people skills. It’s not just leadership, but also the ability to mesh with your co-workers and fit seamlessly into the workflow of the organization. This may not make you a GREAT employee, but it will help to make you indispensable.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Hey Daria,

Thanks for adding this here. I think helping out coworkers with their issues is the best way to earn respect at the workplace. However, I found it difficult to fit in most of the workplaces I worked at. Maybe its only me :).

People skills are must have skills.
Thanks for your comments :)

Sonia February 14, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Avoiding office politics and staying focused. People can really make life miserable for you (providing you let it) and it can make work-life difficult for some people if they aren’t thick-skinned. Everything you mentioned is almost a “given” but nonetheless exactly right. Jobs want to make sure you’re a perfect “fit” for their organization too. I saw a video on how the efforts a company put 3 candidates through to get a job. It wasn’t a grueling process, but it will make you think should you be on the “job-hunt”.

Companies are super picky these days and they want the best. A personality still counts just as much as your skills and education. You can have an MBA and still have a completely idiotic personality. If you don’t fit in their culture, you won’t have a chance in hell of getting hired unless the company is desperate. Companies just aren’t willing to make that mistake and the interview process is grueling. All factors count towards getting a job, but sometimes we need to think outside the box, learn what the company is truly about so you can figure out what you can offer them.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Hi Sonia,

Thanks for providing information about the really difficult process of hiring these days. Yes, when the things are tight, no one wants to make mistakes. In my opinion, to be an indispensable employee, you still need all the right qualities. But companies only insisting on technical or managerial skills are going to turn away candidates who want to put their heart and soul into work. These candidates are very rare and may be turned off if they go through the gruelling process.
I frankly do not think that there can be a process to hire right people. One can have all the top tests to ascertain the potential employee. However the real talent only comes out when there is a positive reinforcement. If the interview process stresses me out then I would rather let go of that company( which may be difficult at times like these). I always believe in testing the depth of thinking and the intrinsic motivation to work . Also great testimonials from previous employers helps. I once had an employee who was only educated for 12 years because of problems with his family. He could not pass any interviews with other companies but I can vouch that he was more smarter than many educated people. It was great working with him.
Thanks for your insights once again :)

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