How “visible” do you feel at work, meeting with your colleagues and managers for several months, perhaps virtually?
Whether you have worked remotely or are still working remotely, the world of work has changed for all of us, and this has raised new questions for many employees. Hays Market Outlook survey of more than 16,000 respondents found that two in five workers (40%) say communication is the aspect of their organization that has changed the most since the coronavirus outbreak. And worryingly, more than a third of those surveyed (34%) said that the number of contacts they now have with their manager is less than before the forced self-isolation.
What needs to be done in the changed world of work when there are significant communication barriers so that you are “visible” to your managers and colleagues and, therefore, continue to move towards your career goals?
If you are currently working remotely, at least for a while, you will need to actively keep in touch, even if at first it may seem like you are communicating too much.
Start with your manager
As the person you report directly to, your manager is your starting point for getting noticed at work. While a manager may already be in control of your tasks and responsibilities, the steps below will give you more opportunities to be noticed for your accomplishments and successes:
- Modify reporting schedule. This can include a weekly phone call, a chat via Slack or Microsoft Teams, or a detailed KPI report by email every two weeks. Regardless of the format you use, communicate regularly so you have more opportunities to discuss your work, accomplishments, and career goals. This should be done to make sure that your manager not only sees your day to day tasks.
- Ask for advice and feedback. Whenever you and your manager are working together, be sure to ask them for feedback. This will give him the opportunity to notice your efforts and help you maximize opportunities for growth.
- Become a member. If you have the opportunity, express your interest to your manager that you are ready to participate in the projects that he leads. Even if you may not be immediately attracted to the project, showing your willingness to “go into action” will increase the likelihood that the manager will consider you first when the need arises.
- Stick to transparency in your graphics. You may already know the benefits of a routine for your productivity, but it’s also helpful to help your manager track what you do at work. Understanding when you are at work and when you are not is a path to building trust, and it will continue to make a huge difference as you move to other ways of working, such as going out to the office.
- Share your successes and gratitude . For those times when you are proud of your work, do not be afraid to share it with your boss. You can send an instant message, rather than an email, and articulate your achievement by saying “thank you for your support in this” to acknowledge the role the leader played in that success.
Speak to your colleagues
While you probably want recognition from your manager, it is likely that there will be other people who might notice you at work.
Good times for this are often in general meetings. It can be difficult to insert your word in a scattered video stream or when audio quality is unstable. But being noticed in these situations is not so much about how much you talk as about what you say. Here are some questions to ask yourself before your next meeting, whether virtual or offline:
- What is your role / value? Before the meeting begins, decide what the purpose is and what your role is. Do you have insights or information that is key to the topic of discussion? By preparing it ahead of time, you can better see opportunities to participate in the discussion.
- What do you want to learn? If you do not feel that your role in the meeting is critical, define what you want to learn. This will help you continue to participate in the meeting and may lead you to ask questions or engage in discussion in a certain way that will help you get noticed.
- Is what you are saying is relevant? People listen more often if they feel they are heard too, so if you bring up a new topic or ask a question, briefly repeat what the person in front of you said … This not only helps the meeting process, but also makes your comment relevant.
- Are you keeping up with the conversation? Even the best listeners may find that their thoughts wander far from the topic of the meeting during the meeting. If you find this happening to you, don’t be afraid to ask a question to help you focus again. You could say, “Sorry, I lost the thread a little. Please, can we take a step back? ” This will probably help others too.
- Are you using a different time to communicate? Finally, take time before and / or after the meeting to chat with those present. Whether it’s socializing on the weekend or digesting some of the little things of the meeting itself, talking outside the meeting’s agenda can help you build rapport with other attendees.
Continue to expand your professional circle
Finally, consider how you can expand your professional communication network. Even if you work remotely for a short time, you may find yourself missing informal conversations in the office kitchen or networking opportunities at industry events. Here are some ideas on how to grow your professional network:
- Virtual morning coffee and lunch breaks – ideal for meetings with colleagues, managers, clients.
- Webinars and Virtual Industry Events is a place to learn from industry experts and connect with like-minded people in your field.
- Social Media , where you can follow influencers, interact with professionals in different industries and share your thoughts and work results.
- Volunteering is an opportunity to meet new people and potentially expand your network in new areas that match your hobbies.
Once you take action, you will be surprised to learn how much virtual opportunity is around you.