Create results: Be a star performer

According to a study from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, we will see a rise in hiring for the workplace in 2014.

No longer is a great resume and skills alone, enough to get a job or keep your job. Employers now expect their employees to contribute to the goals and a return on investment (ROI).

So if you are looking for a job, or wanting to keep yours, here are five things you can do to stand out as a star performer:

  • Seek to understand the company goals: With today’s technology, it is easy to find out about a company’s goals. You can Google to read articles, go on their website and even look up in data bases, such as Reference USA, to find out a company’s sales growth. If you are a current employee, you will often find the company goals on the company’s intranet site. Taking the time to know and understand the company goals shows you have an interest in the company and “what’s in it for them” instead of just getting and keeping your job. Having this company-focused mentality is very appealing in getting hired and staying hired, as it shows a focus on results.
  • Get curious on how your position could add value to the company goals: After understanding the company goals, we can begin to ask questions to get clear on how we can add value to results. Knowing what important key initiatives will be expected beyond your day-to-day job description makes any employee stand out as a star performer. In today’s economy, businesses expect to be right-sized with just the right amount of employees to keep the business operating, and to focus on meeting the goals to growth. When you show a potential employer, or your current employer, that you understand that you have both a responsibility in functionality and in meeting the goals, you will set yourself apart and guarantee not only results, but employment for yourself.
  • Demonstrate possibility-thinking: One of the most attractive qualities any prospective employee or current employee can have is the “How might we?” attitude. Being a possibility-thinker means stepping up to obstacles with an openmindset that is curious to find solutions that will meet the goals within the resources given. Self-talk or conversation chatter that sounds like, “we did that before, it doesn’t work!” or “we can’t do that because we don’t have the resources!” shows an inability to be creative, think out-of-the-box and find the best possibility solutions to create desired results.
  • Check your ego and market yourself as a team player: Focusing too much on one’s job and losing sight of the overall company operation and goals is often the root cause to the “silo effect” that many companies experience. When individuals and departments start to operate separately, the end result is a loss of synergy and focus on the goals. We have all heard how “there is no ‘I’ in team,'” but understanding how to take out the “I” is another thing. Our ego seeks self-importance and separation as an individual: the very dynamic that acts as a cancer to cooperation. To make yourself a valuable employee, continually ask, “How might we work together for the overall goals?” Understanding the big picture of how you can meet conflicting goals, like increased sales and cutting costs, shows you are a true team player.
  • Act as though the money is yours and make decisions based on ROI: Before making any request for additional resources, think like an owner, as though the money was yours. You can do this by using an ROI analysis and putting your projected return on investment in writing. To create an ROI analysis, answer the following questions: 1) Are you best utilizing all of your current resources to full capacity? 2) Is there another creative way to meet your need before you spend money? 3) If you must spend money to have this resource, what will it cost? 4) How will this expense help you meet the goals? 5) What is the yielded return on investment with this new resource? 6) In what timeframe can you expect this return?

By putting your request in writing and answering these questions, you show concern for the company’s financial well-being.

Challenge: How will you be a star performer this year? n

Susan K. Wehrley is an executive coach and a business development consultant who creates synergy in the workplace by helping management and employees work together towards their goals. She can be reached at (414) 581-0449 or email at Her websites are and

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