How to Become an Employee Your Company Can’t Afford to Lose

Sunday, July 3, 2016

team work
If there was a way that you could become the kind of employee that your company couldn’t afford to lose, would you do it? Of course you would. I think all of us have that one personal goal for our jobs. Well, there is a way. It isn’t easy and it takes lots of hard work not only at our workplace, but especially on a personal level. There are three steps you can take to get you on the path to becoming that kind of employee.

Work as a representative of God.

This sounds simple, yet how many of us actually go to work with this mindset every day? What would happen if every morning before we went to work we prayed and asked the Lord to help us represent him well? To be honest, I would be a better steward of my time, whether I had to punch a clock or not. I would not take an extra 15 minutes for lunch, or an extra 5 minutes on my coffee break. I would take greater care in how I treat my coworkers. I would treat my boss with greater respect. So why don't we actually work that way all the time? I believe it is because we are representing ourselves rather than God. We are doing it for us rather than him. Our work is done according to our salary level instead of our identity. We work to fulfill a job description instead of our character description. We talk about job performance, but never mention character performance. We reward employees for a job well done, but not the quality of their character. A big part of the problem is we put all our focus on what we do and very little on the kind of people we are while we are doing our work. Have you ever worked with people that excel at their job, but are utter failures when it comes to dealing with people? They get the job done, but at what cost? I liken this to putting lipstick on a pig. No matter how well you dress it up, it is still a pig. The lipstick actually ends up mocking the fact that it is just a pig.

Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." That is the key. You may have to answer to a supervisor, but in the grander scheme of eternity, you answer to an even higher authority. Perhaps you are the boss. Maybe everyone has to answer to you and you are at the top. That does not exclude you from this principle. In fact, I believe that the greater degree of your responsibility, the greater the expectations are placed on you. With this in mind, represent God well as the boss. Treat your employees the way God would treat them. Show them an example of Godly character and model this principle to those you lead. Understand that this is not your business and these are not your employees. It all belongs to God and you are simply his steward. If character is missing at the top, it will eventually infect the entire operation. 

Do not forget who you are.

Remember this one thing—it's not about what you do. It's about who you are! If you are going to successfully walk in character at work, whether you are a CEO, department manager, pastor, schoolteacher, janitor or stay-at-home mom, you must strive to do whatever it is you do in the context of who you are in Christ. This is the mindset that Peter is addressing here. You are a Royal Priesthood, first and foremost, and whatever you do for a living must be done out of that primary identity. If we could grab hold of this concept to the fullest, it would revolutionize our workplaces. Because you are a member of God's Holy Priesthood, you will naturally do a better job. You will treat your co-workers with respect. You will be honest. You will be the kind of employee your company cannot afford to lose.

The workplace is full of people who spend all of their time trying to prove who they are. They constantly try to prove to everyone else how smart they are. They are quick to tell anyone who will listen about their qualifications, their education, and every success story of their vast career as experts. To top it off, they are also the first to point out the lack of ability, knowledge, and expertise of everyone around them. Have you ever worked with someone like that? I have, unfortunately many times, and I have worked in a church setting my entire career. The vast majority of people today are representatives of self. We are called to be different. We are called to a higher calling—to be representatives of God. When others see us, they should see him. Our job performance and work ethic should be a reflection on the character of God himself.

Let your work glorify God.

I am probably no different from anyone else because I like to know if I am doing a good job. I need affirmation that I am meeting expectations in my job. My goal is to do the best job I possibly can, but it is so easy to seek after that for our own personal needs. We seek affirmation because we love to hear others say how great we are. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but it becomes a problem when that becomes our sole motivation for doing a great job. Can we honestly say that the reason why we work long, hard hours is for the sole reason is so that God is glorified? Probably not.

Here is how to tell if you have a problem in this area. When a coworker is promoted for his or her work performance, gets a bonus for finishing that project, or wins the attention and accolades of the team, do you secretly feel a twinge of jealousy? Do you fight feelings of hurt pride and say to yourself that you should be the one getting all the attention? If you can say yes to even the slightest hint of any of these then you are guilty. You are doing your job for the wrong reasons. Do not get me wrong here. If your coworker is acting unethically or taking credit for work he or she did not do, then something needs to be said. However, if we are not taking the lead in cheering for others when they do a good job, we are seeking after our own glory. How about when you work hard on a project or go the extra mile to do more than expected, only to hear silence from your boss and co-workers? If we find ourselves seething with anger and feeling that we are undervalued and unappreciated, perhaps we are suffering from vainglory.

On a positive note, there is a positive double-whammy effect of working to glorify God. First, it keeps us on track and makes us much better employees than we could be on our own. Second, it protects us from disappointment. When my boss fails to recognize the great work I have done it does not affect my work. I do not get bitter or angry because that is not why I work for her. My reward is in knowing that regardless of how my boss feels, God is glorified and honored and that is all that matters. On the other side, what good is it if I win the applause of men, yet God is not glorified? When it comes right down to it, I will always sleep much better at night knowing that God is pleased with my work.

I don’t know if you noticed it or not, but these three steps are basically radical attitude changes. A radical change in our thinking will have a radical impact on our job performance. Remember, it’s not about getting ahead, but rather, becoming the kind of person God wants you to be. Do that and everybody wins!

This post is an excerpt from my eBook, “Living the Transformed Life: 8 Steps to a Successful Daily Walk” which is available on Amazon by clicking here.
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