Can you be counted on? No, really… how confident are you that your employer or other members of your team would describe you as dependable? And what does that even mean? Dependability is the quality that lets people know that you will do what you said you would do, when you said you will do it, and you will do it to the best of your ability – each and every time. If you are dependable sometimes, then the real truth is that you are not fully dependable, because consistency is a vital component of dependability.
This is not to say that the idea of being dependable is an all or nothing trait. There can be areas of your work in which you can clearly be relied upon, and then other areas where you fall a little short – at the end of the day aren’t we all works in progress? When you look at all the professional areas where dependability matters, are you checking off more boxes than not? If so, you are sitting pretty. If not, and your goal is to succeed professionally, you have some work to do.
Here are a few areas in which dependability is measured; what boxes are you checking off?
Showing Up On Time, Ready To Work.
The schedule that you were given wasn’t merely a suggestion, it is an expectation of the hours you will be committing to work that was set based upon business needs. When you regularly call out of work at the last minute, or casually stroll in late carrying your Dunkin coffee and breakfast sandwich, you are sending a clear message that you can not be relied on to manage your time. The same can be said for arriving in the parking lot at your scheduled time, and then sauntering around the office for the first 30 minutes of your day making breakfast and catching up on last night’s primetime line-up with your co-workers.
Time management is a core skill that all employers are looking for – so to be considered dependable in relation to your time management, you show up on time, every time, and ready to work.
Meeting Deadlines & Expectations.
You have been hired to do a job, and with that comes the understanding that the employer (and the rest of your team) is counting on you to consistently meet deadlines and any other performance expectations. The business’ success depends on each employee’s commitment to carry out their job to the best of their ability. No one is at a hundred percent all the time, but the difference lies in your drive and determination to deliver.
A dependable employee is someone who does not look at deadlines and performance expectations as “nice-to-haves”, they view them as a mission. That means they work diligently to meet the goals and if they have concerns about falling short, they communicate their concerns in a timely manner, look for support and/or training, and are prone to taking forward-thinking positive action versus hiding behind excuses.
Following Established Policies.
Companies put a lot of time and energy into establishing policies and procedures that keep everyone in the organization moving in the same direction, following the same rules, and create a level playing field for all team members. Policies are developed to protect both the company and their employees by setting defined expectations in a range of areas. Part of the onboarding process for the vast majority of organizations includes providing a copy of (or access to) an employee handbook where all policies and procedures are outlined.
If you want to demonstrate that you are dependable, instead of filing the handbook in the back of your cabinet or stuffing it into the bookcase at home never to be seen again, you will take the time to familiarize yourself with the official company policies and follow them – regardless of what common practice may be.
Delivering Quality Work.
Just doing a “good enough” job is not enough. You are also being counted on to produce quality work. It doesn’t matter if you are assembling widgets on a line, crafting a highly publicized press release, or crunching endless numbers on a spreadsheet – people are relying on you for accuracy. When you neglect the details or sloppily go about your work, it will negatively impact the company, your reputation, and likely will lead you to the unemployment line.
When you pay attention to detail, leave time for a second set of eyes for editing, stay focused, and avoid careless mistakes, you will demonstrate that you can be consistently relied on to produce quality work.
Offering Assistance When Able.
There will be times in your career that you may be called on to step up, help out, or take on a new bold initiative – can you be counted on to rise to the challenge and deliver? Naturally, most people are eager to help – but before you raise your hand and jump in blindly, ask yourself “am I able?” If you sign up to take on a new challenge but are not able to fully commit or lack the skills necessary to really tackle the task, you won’t be doing yourself or anyone else any favors. Also, if you spend all your time helping others and neglecting your own responsibilities, you are ultimately putting yourself and the company in a bad position.
Being dependable doesn’t mean always saying yes and jumping at the word go – it means that you have the ability to offer meaningful support outside of your traditional role while balancing your other responsibilities. It also means that you can be counted on to make a quick and thoughtful decision on your ability to deliver, and gracefully saying no if you can’t.
Are you an employer looking to add dependable people to your team? A job seeker looking to work at a place that values your dependable nature? Manpower can help.