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Ten attributes that will win you promotion

By pa360, Jul 12 2015 12:46PM

I would guess that most people look forward to receiving a promotion at some point during their career. As much as providing the opportunity to earn more money, promotion recognises your capability, supports your career progression and underlines your value as an employee. But, aside from being the bosses son or daughter, how does an employee significantly enhance their prospects for promotion? Drawing in part from my own personal experience and those of many others that I have worked with over the years, I have compiled a list of the ten attributes that are most likely to win you promotion.

1. Showing enthusiasm - an enthusiastic employee is someone who undertakes their tasks and responsibilities with passion and energy. From one task to the next, their performance is often seamless because they 'love what they hate as much as they love what they love'. In addition to being highly motivated, the infectious energy of the enthusiast motivates colleagues and thereby, makes a direct and indirect contribution to organisational productivity.

2. Setting and maintaining high standards - the ability to set and maintain standards speaks volumes about the professionalism and character of an employee. Whenever someone achieves a standard it demonstrates their ability to do what is expected and whenever they exceed standards, it demonstrates their ability to do what is needed. People who are able to set, maintain and exceed standards demonstrate both credibility and reliability.

3. Being solutions focused - employees who identify problems are always useful but those who solve problems are indispensable. The capacity to stay solutions focused is a trait of ideas leadership and one that is highly prized and greatly valued by employers. If you are solutions focused you will be close to both decision making and influence.

4. Using your initiative - an employee showing initiative responds to changing realities in real time by doing what is needed, not what is asked for. Initiative is a highly valuable leadership trait and will do much to demonstrate that an employee can be trusted to get on with things with the minimum requirement for instruction, direction and supervision.

5. Being trustworthy - it goes without saying that employees who demonstrate that they can be trusted are of immeasurable value to their employers. Trustworthiness is demonstrated when you show the same level of care and diligence over small and comparatively insignificant things as you do for more important things. When an employer can trust you they will rely on you and encourage others to do likewise.

6. Working for the team - a promotion, particularly to management position, will mean taking responsibility for the performance of others. One of the most effective ways to demonstrate your fitness for that higher calling is to actively assist your colleagues when they need a helping hand. Aside from making a meaningful contribution to the productivity of the team, supporting colleagues in need is also a practical demonstration of collective accountability.

7. Seeing the bigger picture - in the context of promotion someone who can see the big picture shows that they understand the relationship between their contribution and wider organisational goals. The ability to see the big picture is evidence of strategic awareness and strategic awareness is an important competency for those aspiring to move into higher managerial positions.

8. Demonstrating good judgement - a person who demonstrates good judgement gets it right more often than they get it wrong. They do this by applying reason and logic in their decision making to derive an appropriate response in any given situation. A person with good judgement demonstrates credibility and as such will win the confidence and trust of employers.

9. Being productive - it is important to stress that productivity does not mean working extra hours and knocking your work-life relationship out of balance. On the contrary, productivity simply means turning up on time and being volume and value driven whilst you are at work. In a results driven environment it is an employee's ability to consistently deliver results in both quantity and quality that counts.

10. Showing character - there are few attributes that will single you out for promotion quicker than your ability to show character; this is particularly so in the midst of a crisis. Your ability to stay calm under extreme pressure and not only organise yourself but (as required) organise others will provide strong evidence of leadership competency.

In conclusion, it is important to note that the above attributes are not intended as a menu of options; but rather as a character profile. Depending on who you work for and the value system that drives your organisation, some of the above attributes will be preferred over others. Notwithstanding, as long as you are credible, competent and capable your prospects for promotion will always be high.

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