7 steps towards becoming an indispensable employee

We all want to feel truly valued and appreciated in the job that we do. But in today’s workplace where everyone is disposable, how can you make sure that your skills and contributions are recognised?

Well, given the fact that managers value indispensable employees, your challenge is to make a positive impression on the organisation you work for. Here are 7 steps towards achieving this goal.

  1. Review your own performance

If you want to make a positive contribution to your workplace, it all starts with your performance in the job. Do you know how well you’re doing? In addition to annual performance reviews, you should be conducting regular self-reviews to see whether you’re meeting targets, achieving goals and performing well. Check in with your line manager and HR department to see whether they can provide feedback on how your performance and attitude are perceived by colleagues and management, so that you have a baseline overview from which to start making adjustments.

  1. Plan to make a difference

Once you know where you stand in terms of performance and perception within the company, you can develop a plan on how to become more useful to your employer. This will require a serious commitment on your part to really want to make a difference to the success of the company. Discuss with your superiors which kind of efficiency or productivity enhancements would be particularly desirable and ask for their support in helping you achieve these goals. Crucially, delivering on your promises is one of the best ways to be seen as a responsible and reliable team member.

  1. Keep raising the bar

If you really want to make yourself indispensable within your organisation, you need to keep evolving your engagement and take a real interest in the company’s overall performance. Review your goals and develop new ones, then follow through on those too. It’s an ongoing process that helps take the business forward, and you along with it. If management can see your performance steadily improving in terms of skill levels, efficiency and productivity, plus a growing interest to get involved in every aspect of the business, your contribution will be highly valued.

  1. Own your projects

Whether you’re leading a team or are a junior member, being on top of your own tasks is essential. Know your stuff inside out and take full responsibility for any projects assigned to you, ensuring they’re completed skilfully, on time and budget and to the delight of all internal and external stakeholders. In addition, volunteer for new projects that could benefit the company and where you think you could really add value, raising your own stock at the same time.

  1. Go above and beyond

Being in full control of your own workload is one thing, but if you really want to be viewed as indispensable you have to be prepared to think beyond your own boundaries and ‘muck in’, supporting colleagues or managers where necessary. If you can spare some time, be available to lend a hand on a project or help out in whatever way you can. Not only will you be perceived as a willing team player with a broad skillset, your versatility within the organisation will be highly prized.

  1. Join in the conversation

If you’re a wallflower at work, beavering away in the background and never saying boo to a goose, you opinions won’t be taken into account. In fact, people might forget you’re there at all! You have to speak up in order to be heard or seen. Make sure you ask relevant questions, share insightful ideas and opinions and make a positive contribution to whatever is being discussed. Being an active member of the team, with a voice that is worth listening to and suggestions that are worthy of consideration and implementation, will show your boss that you’re on the same wavelength.

  1. Align with your company’s goals

Finally, are you up to speed with your organisation’s strategic direction and are you in agreement with where the company is heading? In order to become a recognised key member of the team, your values must align fully. Get very familiar with your company’s goals and ensure that the ideas and suggestions you are contributing are supporting the vision. As an indispensable, or better still, irreplaceable employee, your long-term reward will be job stability and the opportunity for career advancement in an organisation whose values you are happy to support.