Hard work and great results sometimes just aren’t enough to get the CEO’s attention – so how can you maximise your exposure to earn the rewards and recognition you deserve? Melinda Tunbridge, director of human resources at SBS, provides her top tips for positioning yourself to get noticed by the people who walk the corridors of power.
- Know who you’re dealing with
Establish a relationship. Build the relationship by checking in periodically whether you need to or not. You don't have to share your private life, or be friends with your manager to achieve a relationship beneficial for success and visibility. Know how your manager communicates best. Is information better received face-to-face, over the phone, via e-mail?
- Present issues and propose solutions
Make sure that when you bring a problem to your manager, you bring a solution or at the very least, options. Most managers today have to deal with their own manager as well so help them to manage their own visibility.
- Become a known factor
A proactive approach to work is always noticed. Volunteer to work on cross-functional and virtual project based teams – these projects will give you the opportunity to build contacts outside of your normal area. A ‘known’ employee has the advantage. Learn to contribute in meetings. Comment on projects outside of HR’s normal scope. Read agendas in advance and be prepared. This comes with a caveat: do your homework and comment wisely.
- Ask for more, then back yourself
Whether it’s a new project or task to be done, step on up. Why wait to be selected? Speak up, step up and then back yourself. Ensure you are getting more responsibility and more opportunity for exposure.
- Learn how to boast
You can be the most productive, innovative results driven professional in your organisation, but if no one knows about it – what’s the point? The key is to find a way that feels comfortable for you to communicate your wins. Increasing your visibility isn’t about sucking up or brown nosing – it’s about positioning yourself so your best work is noticed. Take the initiative to be relevant, contribute, and make sure your efforts are noticed by your industry as well as your organisation. This is even easier in today’s world with social media tools.