7 Ways Employees Can Become Indispensable

The unemployment rate is currently 9.5%, the worst it’s been in 25 years. Although some of my clients have had to regrettably reduce their staffs, other clients are looking for talent. That means opportunities are still available.

What I’ve noticed is that sometimes the people who are asked to leave a company are the ones who weren’t contributing to the degree that they could have. As a result, they were expendable.

As a leader, which of your employees would you consider expendable and why? How many of your team members are indispensable?

I looked up both words in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Below are the definitions I found:

Ex-pend-a-ble adj. Suitable for sacrifice if required; not essential to preserve.

In-dis-pen-sa-ble adj. Incapable of being dispensed with; essential; required.

Since I work with leaders, I know the emotional and mental toll it takes on them when they have to let a member of their staffs go. It is a very difficult decision for them to make and it’s not taken lightly. As part of their decision making, among what they evaluate are attitude, work ethic, goal-orientation, use of time, personal organization, desire to grow, ability to adapt and embrace change, and willingness to do whatever it takes to help the company be successful.

I think that many (not all) of the individuals who find themselves a casualty of reduction in force decisions by their employer have contributed to their own demise. In other words, they were expendable instead of indispensable.

As a leader, you can help your team members learn how to become indispensable by sharing the following information. I believer EVERY member of an organization needs to be accountable to…..

1. Help attract new customers.They can do this by bringing in leads and opportunities to do business with people they know. Who in their world can benefit from the services and products your company provides? They can give these names and contact information to the sales professionals in the company to follow up on. Do your employees also buy and use the services of your company? If not, what’s standing in the way?

2. Help retain existing customers. What can each individual do to create exceptional customer experiences? If they directly interact with customers, they can make the experience memorable. They can be upbeat, positive and always smiling. Customers, callers and visitors want to feel welcome, appreciated and special. They will want to keep coming back. They will also tell others about your company. If an employee doesn’t directly interact with customers, they can still suggest ideas that will improve customer service. They can also do their jobs to the best of their ability, so the end product and service are high-quality and customers will keep buying.

3. Help increase business with existing customers. Team members can look for opportunities to further serve your customers. Many times customers are not fully aware of a business’ full product and service offerings. Train your staff in ways to find opportunities and create awareness with customers about your entire product line. Sometimes all customers need is a simple suggestion, encouragement or a reminder…think, “You want fries with that?”

4. Help reduce costs and expenses. Ask your team members to look for waste in time and resources and make suggestions or take action to eliminate them. The more money a busienss wastes, the less there is to use for growth, employee performance rewards and other benefits. It’s in the best interest of each member of an organization to help reduce their employer’s costs and improve profitability.

5. Take initiative. This is another big one that an employer evaluates when deciding who to let go. They want an individual on their team who is the kind of person who doesn’t have to be told what to do. An individual needs to look for ways to add value and go above and beyond their normal job duties. If they see something that needs to be done, they need to just do it. If a co-worker is buried in work, they can ask if they can help out. There are a ton of ways to demonstrate initiative. They just need to be creative.

6. Learn something new and enhance knowledge, skills and abilities. What is the last book a member of your team has read that dealt with their personal and professional growth and development? When was the last time they took a seminar or workshop? When they participate in employer-sponsored training, how well do they pay attention and use what they learn? I believe a persona and an organization is either green and growing or ripe and rotting….there is no in-between. Once one thinks he has “arrived”, he’s dying on the vine. Superstar athletes like Tiger Woods and other exceptional athletes and business professionals recognize they have to continue to grow and learn (no matter how great they are) if they want to keep their leadership role. If they ever get comfortable, someone else will pass them by.

7. Be organized and use their time well….work smart. Do each of your team members plan and write down what they want to accomplish each day? Do they consistently use a calendar system to remind them of tasks and to schedule appointments? Are they focused and spend 80% of their time on their priorities? One of the first things I do with a new client is to ensure they have and consistently use some kind of calendar system and they plan their days. Immediately they become more productive and effective! Working long hours doesn’t always translate into working smart or accomplishing goals. Challenge your team to ask themselves this question all day, each day: “Is this the best use of my time at this moment?” Watch for what changes they make as a result of their answer and how that impacts their goals and success.

What employer would want to part ways with a team member who consistently does the above things? The kind of person who does the above will become indispensable to you. They will also be positioned to promote as the company grows. As a business prospers, so will its members.

Coach Gail has been working with small business owners, managers and sales professionals for over 20 years. Located in the Panhandle of Florida, Coach Gail coaches her clients by phone and they are located throughout the United States. All of Coach Gail’s clients want to excel in their chosen fields and have a desire to continually develop themselves, their businesses and their team members. You can learn more about the results Coach Gail has helped her clients achieve by visiting her web site at www.coachgail. com. You can also reach her by calling 850-927-4245 or emailing her at coachgail@gtcom.net.

Home Resources Tools Services Forum About Us Contact Us

The Game Plan website is not sponsored by or associated
with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company or any of its affiliated companies.