Understanding Your Role In The Workplace

Understanding Your Role In The Workplace

By Jason Morrison, Director of Implementation

Success in the workplace depends on how well employees work together to accomplish goals.  In order to grow any organization and be profitable, employees must have an understanding of each other’s strengths.  Knowing how to utilize them correctly can help generate and maintain company momentum.

In high-performing work cultures, the differences in people with their functional roles and responsibilities are always in sync.  Diverse personalities, skill sets and expectations all connect to one another.  Understanding your role and how you connect to your workplace will determine both personal and company success.

Your company role is not your job title or responsibilities.  It goes way beyond this.  Understanding your role in the workplace is knowing where you fit within the culture of your organization.  It is where you will have the best opportunities to directly influence the various areas of your workplace.  Your role changes as workplace culture changes.

I believe it goes without saying that you should do more than what your job description requires.  People define their workplace roles, not the business.  Think about it for a second.  If you were asked to review the job you were hired to do each day, you would most likely have to rewrite the process.  It is less about the workplace defining the individual and more about you defining the workplace.  This is why defining your role is vital in the workplace. There are so many variables and talents an individual can bring to work that it is impossible for a job description to define them all.

Those who have successful careers and increase their market value know how to adapt and grow as company culture changes. They blend in and integrate themselves into their work environments and make the most impact.  They are examples and become business leaders who both serve and influence their peers.

They understand how to align themselves with the strengths of others in their workplace and make a collective effort to deliver maximum results.  It is through this type of synergy that propels and strengthens the influence and performance of everyone involved.  I truly believe that this is what separates mediocre from greatness.

So ask yourself what type of workplace do you have, and how can you best understand your role within it.  Is it stagnant or part of a traditional workplace where every department or employee has their own agenda? These types of environments represent an operations-driven workplace and one that rarely engages in other departments. It is also where innovation comes slow and people are not inspired to think big. 

You cannot control your ultimate career success unless you know how to maximize your effort and have an impact on others.  It is also where you will have the most influence on your workplace. 

Here are a few things that can help define your role and help you synergize within the workplace:

-        Learn how to perform your job well. There is a big difference between doing your job and defining your job role. Raising the bar and putting in an extra effort will help you influence those you work with.

-        Be Positive. People enjoy working with positive people.  Nobody wants to work with a Debbie Downer who drags down everyone around them.  It kills company culture.  Stay energetic and positive by propping up others and sharing words of encouragement.

-        Be a Leader. People become leaders through example.  Your associates will gravitate towards you when they see that you understand your role and put in maximum effort. A leader looks for ways to improve and has a passion for what they do. It rubs off on everyone around them.

-        Be a Team Player. Review your current situation and how well you currently work in teams.  Examine your communication and the relationships in your workplace.  Ask for feedback and offer help when it is needed.

-        Cultivate Relationships. Building relationships in the workplace is usually a positive element in your workplace happiness, which directly impacts motivation, positivity and company culture.

-        Learn New Skills. The longer we stay at one workplace, the more likely one is to get stagnant or just go through the motions. The way around this issue is to look for new opportunities to excel and grow through additional education or training.

-        Be The Solution. Have you ever heard the term, “Don’t be the problem, be the solution”? Instead of always pointing out the problems, offer solutions and become a problem-solver.

Understanding your role in the workplace: It is critical whether you are leading or following, building a team or joining one.  Know the responsibilities and challenges of those around you.  Doing this will increase your accountability, increase your market value and help you understand the bigger picture. It is not rocket science, but it is the principle and foundation with which successful workplaces are built.

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