Exceeding Goals is Great, but What About Quality?
At the beginning of 2018, my boss and I planned a number of goals for the coming year.  The competitive streak in me enjoys targets; they’re an opportunity to exceed expectations and push yourself to excel.

By the end of 2018, the Careers Division had significantly exceeded the targets set. We were thrilled.

Following the success of 2018, the question remains, how does the Division continue to improve in 2019? By continuing to increase the numbers of people who learn essential skills, but also to never allow a focus on numbers to hinder quality. It’s important for you and I to do what we do well.

As you start to think about your own career goals in 2019, I encourage you to not only think about how to stand out but to increase the quality of your output in 2019.  Here are three ways you can improve the quality of your work.

1.    Listen to feedback and act on it.

Whether it’s from your boss, a colleague, or your clients and customers, feedback is precious. If you’re fortunate enough to have people around you who are frank and give you honest feedback, don’t allow your ego to prevent you from accepting it. If you don’t have naturally frank people giving you feedback, invite and encourage feedback.  It’s vital to seek improvement in everything you do.

When you get feedback, make an effort to note it down and figure out how you can act upon it. For example, if you organize an event, send surveys out and make it your mission to communicate how you’ve acted on the feedback to the person who gave it.

2.    Identify talent on your team and use it.

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the people on your team is a critical skill, whether you’re the manager or not. When working on projects, share out responsibilities based on what aspects of the work you and your colleagues will excel at.  

If you have strengths, offer to apply them to the team as a whole and not just your projects. Likewise, if you have weaknesses, you can ask your colleagues to assist.  You can also ask your colleagues to help train you in the aspects of your job you find confusing.

3.    Allow yourself time to make improvements.

Improving the quality of your work takes time whether it’s through training or effective planning. Assign yourself time in the day for quality control. For example, if you take surveys from an event you ran, write up a summary of the feedback -- what went well and what didn’t and how you intend to act on it. Submit the summary to your boss, so you have accountability.

Remember, knowing what you do well is just as important as knowing your weaknesses. If you know what you do well, you can apply the same tactics to other projects.

Finally, if there are any skills you’d like to improve in the New Year, the Leadership Institute has many training opportunities for you to learn to be more effective in your career: https://www.leadershipinstitute.org/Training/?Training=Career.