Even though workplaces have managers and supervisors, successful workplaces rely on their employees to use self-management skills. Self-management means to manage one’s time and talents in order to reach one’s goals. Supervisors have their own work to do. Employees who can work independently and get their work done on their own are invaluable. In the workplace, your students will be expected to manage their time in a way that allows them to meet deadlines.
Oftentimes in the school environment, teachers tell students what to work on and when to work on it. In the workplace, employees are not always told what tasks they need to complete. They are expected to know deadlines and their workplace responsibilities. Self-management is a learned skill. This blog post is designed to give you the information you need to start fostering this skill in your students.
Use Your Strengths
Everyone has a unique set of strengths. A strength is an awareness of one’s talents, knowledge and skills. In order to be successful in the workplace, having an understanding of what one is good at is essential. Knowing one’s strengths enables them to work more effectively and can even help determine what kind of career one should pursue. In order to get your students to start thinking about their strengths have them ask themselves the following questions:
1. What are some of the things that you know more about than most people?
2. What are some skills or activities that you seem to be better at than most people?
3. What are some of your talents, normal thoughts, feelings and behaviors that you are good at doing?
Reliability in the workplace is an important quality. To be reliable means that people can count on you to perform at your best all the time. It means that the quality of your work and the professionalism of your actions are always at the same high level. If you are reliable, your supervisor can count on you to meet deadlines. Your co workers can expect you to show up for meetings on time. If you are reliable, people won’t have to wonder what you’re going to do and can focus on what they need to do. Developing reliability can be tricky, especially if students don’t buy into this skill. Holding your students accountable on a daily basis is the first step in developing this skill.
If you’ve ever been around someone who is disorganized, then you know that it can be very stressful. People who are disorganized never seem to catch up. They are constantly looking for papers, running behind for meetings, and missing deadlines. Being organized requires one to have focus and direction. A useful tool for getting organized is a daily planner or calendar. Using one of these tools is a valuable habit that your students can start developing right away.
Manage Your Time
Time management is the ability to make one’s behaviors serve their goals. In other words, it means behaving in a way that allows you to get your work done on time and meet your goals. Leonardo Da Vinci was quoted saying, “Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.” That’s good news for anyone who has ever been stressed out because they simply “don’t have enough time!”
Everyone has a limited amount of time each day to accomplish their goals. How people manage their time determines how much work they get done and whether or not they meet their goals. Good time management starts with daily goal setting and ranking tasks in order of importance. It’s also important to know one’s limits and learn when to say, “no” to new projects. At the end of the day effective time management is a habit. You will need to work daily with your students to make sure they are developing this habit effectively. Working with them on their goals and timelines to reach these goals is a good place to start.
Most companies want to see more out of their employees than what is spelled out in the job’s description. They want them to get involved and participate in committees and activities. Taking advantage of these opportunities is a great way to get involved with the work community. Finding something that is interesting and volunteering to help out is a good way to get started. This is actually an easy skill for your students to develop. They will often have similar opportunities at school to get involved as they will in a work environment. Encourage your students to step outside of their comfort-zone and get passionate about something!
We hope you enjoyed this blog in our Workplace Readiness: Professionalism series. If you would like to take a look at how our Workplace Readiness program can assess and teach valuable skills like professionalism click the free trial link below.