National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

How to Increase Your Workplace Value

BY Phil Lenahan

March 26-April 1, 2006 Issue | Posted 3/27/06 at 11:00 AM

 

While I’ve been reasonably successful in my work, I haven’t received the promotions that others have. In my employee reviews, comments have been made about not being sufficiently committed to the job. Do you have any suggestions that would help me become a more valued employee?

Assuming that your employer has fairly assessed the situation, and is not expecting an unreasonable commitment (“work is for man, not man for work”), it may be important for you to consider your attitude toward work. While many in our society fall into the trap of workaholism, others fall prey to a lackadaisical attitude.

Many families I counsel find themselves in financial bondage largely because they haven’t developed a strong work ethic. Poor work habits can result in an inability to attain a higher-paying job and even in unemployment. A proper attitude toward work is a key not only for financial success, but also for spiritual growth.

The Catechism says: “Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. Hence work is a duty: ‘If any one will not work, let him not eat.’ Work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive” (No. 2427).

Work has been given to us by God and we have an obligation to fulfill our responsibilities for his greater glory. By striving for excellence in all we do, we can also be effective witnesses for Christ in the midst of the secular world. Here are five steps you can take to become a more valued employee and assure a more stable financial future for your family.

" Integrity in the employer/employee relationship is a key. Make sure your employer can trust you.

" Be a diligent employee. Employers appreciate workers who “Plan the work and work the plan.” Follow through on the commitments you make and do your work right the first time.

" Be a positive influence in the workplace. Be helpful to your co-workers. Be on guard against jealousy or envy with co-workers.

" Ask your supervisor how you can improve and how you can be of greater value to the organization.

" Seek to improve your skill levels through continuing education.

My business experience has reinforced how important each person is to the overall success of an organization. Poor performance by employees has a much greater impact than you might think. For example, if a secretary makes mistakes in letters that go out, the company’s image is negatively impacted. If a purchasing manager fails to maintain sufficient stock, the production and sales processes are adversely impacted, eventually resulting in irate customers. Employers are looking for well-qualified employees who are consistent in their work and help the company achieve its objectives.

By applying these tips, you can become a more valued employee at your company. “Make it a point of honor to remain at peace and attend to your own affairs. Work with your hands as we directed you to do, so that you will give good example to outsiders and want for nothing” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12). God love you!

Phil Lenahan is president

of a new company,

Veritas Financial Ministries.