Be an Indispensable Worker – Enhance the Company

“Make yourself indispensable. The more valuable you are, the more responsibility you will be asked to take on.” – Fran Hauser

In today’s fast paced corporate world, companies are constantly ‘fighting it out’ with each other to gain supremacy of the market especially by being able to provide superlative customer service. For employees this translates to employers who do not appreciate people who are slow, cannot multi-task and are unable to produce high amounts and quality of work. This becomes a cause for concern relating to job security for today’s employees – jobs are being cut down, outsourced and overhauled to take on a different ‘face, leaving employees in the lurch. However, it is possible to rid oneself of this fear by becoming an indispensable worker – which means that if this person were to leave the area in which this person operated would come to a standstill and the company would find itself scrambling to keep the work running smoothly so as to not affect customer service and product quality. Every employee must endeavour to become an indispensable worker – this ‘drive and fire’ when present in all employees will naturally raise the standards of customer service, work quality and output, enhance product quality and overall ensure that the company is in ‘top form’. Of course this must be a quality that is recognized and part of the company’s culture and also a trait that the company’s leadership exhibits for it to permeate throughout the organization.

Being an indispensable worker essentially means that your manager or leader is able to count on your skills and efforts and you are able to create the perception that the team’s productivity will nose-dive if you were to ever leave. When there are a number of employees who perform to such high standards, they are instrumental in the success of the team, department and even the company. The company ‘depends’ on such employees and they would be considered an invaluable and essential part of the overall company’s ‘machinery’. Being an indispensable worker is a great feeling too – it’s inspiring for the other employees, who try to emulate the actions of such a person and ultimately raise the standards at work. Indispensability means that even if you could be replaced, your manager / company would never think about it – for them you would be the best person for the job and also the person whom they can entrust a task and know that it would be done. Being an indispensable worker is about becoming the go-to person and more such employees would translate to the company becoming the go-to company for their customers. We have discussed in detail in a previous exposition how important it is for a company to be indispensable for its customers and the business environment.

What does being an indispensable worker mean and how do people come to be known as indispensable? These people are ordinary employees but what sets them apart is that they are driven and have a healthy pride that encourages them to deliver top quality work. Their sense of accomplishment comes from doing their job well, making an impact with their work and ensuring that no one can ever say that they did a shoddy job. These personal goals and traits are becoming absolutely essential in the current tough job environment and if each person were to make these their guiding principles, any company would be lucky and glad to have them on their rolls. After all, a company is known by its employees and the quality of service and products that these employees deliver. However, just like any other business aspect, to become indispensable consistency in churning out high quality work and engaging in ‘extra’ projects is a must. Indispensability does not happen overnight or as a one-off.

People spend long hours at their workplace and it is therefore essential that they are happy and feel valued in order to keep them with the company. However, just as important as recognition from the employer is essential, it is also vital that employees contribute well and consistently to get recognized and be considered indispensable. Being an indispensable worker is a morale booster and gives a sense of satisfaction and confidence to the person who constantly strives to perform at a high level. Such people are also less stressed since they are not in constant fear of losing their job either due to low performance or redundancy and with such a mind-set it is possible to not only enhance one’s performance but also help other co-workers to give their best. The feeling of being valuable and well-liked is a great way to enhance personal efficiency and thereby that of the team and company. Being an indispensable worker almost guarantees that you would be chosen over others for plum projects, promotions and better hikes in salary and your manager / leader would look to you for views, feedback and opinions. Would it be possible to beat a company in which most employees strive to give their best? Does your company have employees who you would consider indispensable?

Each person employed is doing a job – a specially assigned task. While the majority is happy with completing this ‘job’, being an indispensable worker is really about reaching out and doing more. There are many tasks that are important but often get delayed or ignored because no one has the time and they only get done when they become urgent – get to these tasks and complete them well to become an indispensable worker over time.

Companies become indispensable to customers when they can provide a service / product / price or any other aspect that no one in the market does. Similarly the requirement to being an indispensable worker is acquiring and building some talent or skill that no one else would have and as soon as a new project or assignment comes up in the company that would require this specialized skill, you are ready to grab it with both hands. Acquire a ‘subject matter expert’ status (SME) and enhance the value and capability of your employer. Continually update your skills by reading and keeping abreast with the latest happenings in the area and related aspects. Soon you will become a valuable resource and people will ‘turn to you’ not just for the job you do but also for this special knowledge and skill that only you possess.

As mentioned, there are always tasks that are ‘overflowing’ from the desk of your manager or other co-workers. When you get good at your own assigned task, it would be easier for you to complete it and then help others with these ‘overflows’, making you a big support and a reliable member on whom others can depend. Over time, you become an indispensable worker without whom not only the co-workers but also the manager / leader find themselves incapacitated.

Being an indispensable worker also means that you have a number of skills and a knowledge base that could be used by the company at any time. For example: A friend worked as an Executive Assistant to one of the top leaders of the company. Extremely proficient and astoundingly good at her job which ensured, that others in similar positions and other jobs looked to her for inspiration and advice. On one occasion the company required a trainer / presenter for giving and receiving feedback but were unable to find the best solution. The department in charge of this assignment was at their nerves end but were soon pleasantly surprised when this friend expressed her willingness to conduct the presentation – not only presenting but also creating the presentation from scratch. She had acquired training and development skills that she did not tell anyone about – she saved the company money, time and embarrassment and delivered on ‘killer’ presentation. Being an indispensable worker is about giving your employer that something extra and saving them money and time in the bargain.

There are a number of traits that go into being an indispensable worker and the good news is that all these traits can be easily acquired. It is important however, that one keeps these skills current and up to date. An educated and well-read employee will always be an asset to any company and would help the company move ahead in customer service and product quality and become a market leader.

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