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How to Become a Dedicated Employee

Updated on February 20, 2009

It's a fact of life; most people don't like their jobs.  They wake up every morning and say, "I wish I didn't have to go to work today!"  And the fact is, that yes, for financial reasons, they "have" to go to work.  However, "wanting" to go to work is a different story.  But whether you like your job or not, you should always remain a dedicated employee.

Most people, day after day force themselves to go to work.  And some people drag all day, or during their entire shift.  Others, without realizing it, make the most of it.  They smile, they are courteous, and most even get a lot of work done in their normal daily work hours.

Well, what if everyone changed the way they think?  'We should all be dedicated employees.'  Not everyone will embrace this thought, but for those of use who are willing to consider instilling this paradigm into our lives, let us first define the meaning of dedication.

Dedication as defined by Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary is: a devotion or setting aside for a particular purpose.  So basically, dedication in relation to work can be defined as the setting aside the eight hours you are required to work each day, or however many hours you are scheduled to work each day, to do just that -- work.

But is dedication just showing up for work?  One can say, "Well, I dedicated so many hours on this day and so many hours on that day to work.  And technically speaking, that makes me dedicated."  However, dedication is so much more than that.

Dedication is being on time.  Dedication is giving 100% of yourself while you're at work, to work; it's being productive.  Dedication is also doing the best job you possibly can, the first time around.  Sure, we all make mistakes, but if you're dedicated to doing the job right the first time, then mistakes will be fewer, and this could mean incredible savings for your employer.

Dedication means always wearing a smile and putting the customer first.  If you don't deal with customers on a daily basis, then you should treat your co-workers like customers.  Smiles and courtesy go a long way, not to mention the fact that they are contagious.  There's nothing better than spreading an array of happiness and peace throughout the workplace.  It makes for a better work environment.

Rude customers, you don't say?  Well, we just have to follow that very old, but wise cliche' - "two wrongs don't make a right."  If you have a rude customer, 95% of the time, you can calm them down by smiling and being friendly and courteous.  And most importantly, you must always keep in mind that without customers, probably none of us would have a job.

The same rule applies to co-workers who come to work in a bad mood.  Don't let their mood rub off on you.  Be dedicated to make sure that your mood rubs off on them, so keep smiling.  Being dedicated to maintaining positive thinking and positive actions is the key to instilling the full meaning of dedication into your work life.

But dedication goes even further than reporting to work, being on time, and wearing a smile.  Dedication also entails preparing for work and going over and beyond the call of duty.

Dedicate some time in the evening or before bed to get things ready for work the next day.  Lay out clothes and pack your lunch.  Set up the automatic coffee maker so that your coffee is ready when you get up.  Have your briefcase and/or your purse ready to go out the door.

Wake up with enough time to look your best.  Make sure you look clean and neat.  Good appearance is vital in any job.  Also, try to eat even a light breakfast before you get to work.  Arriving to work on an empty stomach can make you cranky, and therefore, less than 100% dedicated.

Sometimes we oversleep, sometimes the alarm clock fails to go off, and sometimes we're just running late.  These reasons will cause us to feel irritated, upset, and can even put us in a bad mood.  Therefore, by preparing the night before, you can drastically eliminate the possibility of not being your best, and your dedication will be off to a good start.

Now that you have arrived at work in a good mood because you prepared the night before, use your dedication skills to go over and beyond the call of duty.  If your workload is low or you complete a project early, ask your supervisor or another co-worker if they need help with anything.  Don't sit there and wait for your supervisor to bring you more work, go find more work.  You can clean your area, wipe down your desk and even your computer monitor.  Check the copy machine to see if it needs more paper, organize the supply closet, or clean up a spill that occurred in the break room.  If you see trash or other items on the floor, pick them up.

You not only represent yourself, but you represent the company as a whole, so maintaining a clean work environment has its benefits.  Remember, the customers have eyes too, even the delivery person.  For example, when a package is being delivered to your office, the delivery person will smile because they are responding to your smile.  He or she will be courteous because you are courteous.  And they will give you a big "thumbs up" because your work area is neat and clean.  It will make a great impression on your boss as well.

And last, but not least, be dedicated to uplift your employer.  If you are unhappy at your job, don't bad-mouth your employer.  Instead, look for another job, and maintain a positive attitude while you're still there.  If you find that other employees or co-workers are saying negative things about the employer, be dedicated not to join in.  Excuse yourself, but do it with a smile on your face, and in a courteous manner.  Engaging in gossip could cost you your job.  Don't do it, it's not worth it.

If you put all your dedication skills to work, you may find yourself with a promotion and/or a salary increase.  And, at the very least, if you implement these dedication skills into your work life, you may find that you do like your job, and that not only do you "have" to go to work, but you also "want" to go to work.  From good deed to good deed, dedication reaps many rewards.

In today's recession filled economy and the unemployment rate on the rise, do all that you can to keep your job.  That means you should appreciate your job, appreciate your employer, and home in on your dedication skills.  You'll be happy you did, and so will those around you.

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    • profile image

      LYNETTE KGOMOTSO 

      3 years ago

      VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE,DETAILED AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND

      THANK YOU, IT WAS VERY HELPFUL

    • profile image

      Milan Moravec 

      8 years ago

      Employee loyalty dedication will always pay off? Not! Business and the public sector are into a phase of creative disassembly where reinvention and adjustments are constant. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are being shed by United Technologies, GE, Chevron, Sam’s Club, Wells Fargo Bank, HP, Starbucks etc. and the state, counties and cities. Even solid world class institutions like the University of California Berkeley under the leadership of Chancellor Birgeneau & Provost Breslauer are firing staff, faculty and part-time lecturers through “Operational Excellence”. Yet many employees, professionals and faculty cling to old assumptions about one of the most critical relationship of all: the implied, unwritten contract between employer and employee.

      Until recently, loyalty was the cornerstone of that relationship. Employers promised job security and a steady progress up the hierarchy in return for employees fitting in, performing in prescribed ways and sticking around. Longevity was a sign of employer-employee relations; turnover was a sign of dysfunction. None of these assumptions apply today. Organizations can no longer guarantee employment and lifetime careers, even if they want to.

      Organizations that paralyzed themselves with an attachment to “success brings success’ rather than “success brings failure’ are now forced to break the implied contract with employees – a contract nurtured by management that the future can be controlled.

      Jettisoned employees are finding that the hard won knowledge, skills and capabilities earned while being loyal are no longer valuable in the employment market place.

      What kind of a contract can employers and employees make with each other? The central idea is both simple and powerful: the job or position is a shared situation. Employers and employees face market and financial conditions together, and the longevity of the partnership depends on how well the for-profit or not-for-profit continues to meet the needs of customers and constituencies. Neither employer nor employee has a future obligation to the other. Organizations train people. Employees develop the kind of security they really need – skills, knowledge and capabilities that enhance future employability.

      The partnership can be dissolved without either party considering the other a traitor

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      Very well put. I guess being a dedicated employee is why I still have a job...that and being clueless! Most people just tell me that I have S-T-U-P-I-D on my forehead, but that's OK :)

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