Improving your quality of work
It’s not just about what you do, but how you do it
It may come as a surprise to some that producing quality work doesn’t just mean being able to tick everything off a To-Do list. While procrastination and lack of motivation can have an impact on your quality of work, it is also important to know that these aren’t the only factors that can hamper work quality.
In broad terms, producing the quality of work means that an employee produces work that is fully acceptable by the standards set by the company, that the task it is done with very few errors and very little waste of time or resources, and that the employee can be depended on to perform at the agreed-upon quality standards.
According to Dr. Rashid Sultan Al-Kuwari, Asset & Surveillance Engineering Manager at Qatar Gas, producing quality work is not only about what you achieve at work, but also how you achieve it.
“Employees who produce quality work perform their task with the right attitude and behavior. This means that in addition to the skills that they have acquired, they also ensure that they do the work in a safe manner (without hurting themselves or others), respect other employees, communicate clearly, cooperate with team members and share information,” he says.
Producing quality work has an impact on an organization and on you as an employee. According to Dr. Al-Kuwari, quality work for an organization is important in achieving customer satisfaction and loyalty, increasing productivity, eliminating waste, reducing costs, and meeting regulatory requirements.
“For the employee, producing quality work can increase motivation and job satisfaction, and is usually recognized by management during the employee performance appraisal, which ultimately results in an attractive remuneration and/or a promotion,” he says.
Here are some practical ways that can help you improve your quality of work:
Sleep, exercise and eat well
Do you wake up with a jump or do you struggle out of bed? If you feel lethargic and unable to focus at work, then lack of sleep could be the culprit. An adult body needs about eight hours of sleep a night. That’s what it takes for our bodies to feel well-rested and ready to tackle the challenges the next day has to offer. If you have trouble sleeping, then get into the habit of exercising. Anything between half an hour to an hour a day will help reduce your blood pressure, improve your general health, and correct poor sleeping patterns. If you find yourself making excuses at the end of the day, bite the bullet and try exercising first thing in the morning. Morning exercises are particularly invigorating as they help boost energy levels and wake you up.
Also, look into your food intake. What you eat has a massive influence on how you think and feel. Your concentration levels will improve and you will feel the difference in how you feel once you swap your break time junk food for nuts, seeds and lots of water. Also, take your breaks seriously – short intermittent breaks are great if you’re struggling to solve a problem or come up with an idea.
Take control of your workspace
There are lots of things at your workplace that could impede the quality of your work, so take control of it. If you’re spending a lot of time on your phone, put it on silent or switch it off so it doesn’t break your focus. Stop wasting your time looking at Facebook and Instagram feeds – these distractions are not going to help you meet your deadlines.
If you find it a challenge staying on top of things at work, consider investing in an online app, such as Awesome Note or Letter space that will help you manage and complete your tasks. It will take some getting used to, but in the long run, it will increase your efficiency and productivity. Another simple way to improve your quality of work and beat procrastination is to do all the jobs you don’t want to do first, and leave the best until last. Once the boring tasks that you do not enjoy are out the way, you can focus on your favorite jobs.
Here’s what happens when you try to do two or more things at once – your productivity and quality of work drops by 40 percent. What does this mean? Just that putting all your attention on that one task at a time will improve your overall efficiency.
Delivering quality as a newbie
Here are some additional tips from Dr. Al-Kuwari:
1. Learn enough about the organizational culture and values before and after you join. This will help you understand how things work and what is the quality culture of the organization
2. Understand from your supervisor what is expected from you in terms of objectives, tasks, and behaviors. This will help you meet the requirements and perform with high quality
3. Focus on continuous learning. A degree alone is not enough. Learning new things on jobs is one of the most effective ways to progress
4. Take ownership of your development and career. While it is useful to get help and support from your supervisor or more experienced colleagues, you need to drive the process yourself