Are you finding it difficult to keep up with your co-worker? Do you feel insecure when you compare your co-worker’s performance to your own? In this tight economy, you never want to feel like you are the weakest link in the chain. Here are some tips to help you address the situation, and make sure that you remain an important part of the team:
Remember that it’s not a competition. While it’s a good idea to pay attention to how your performance measures up to your co-workers’, don’t get too caught up in the competition. Don’t forget that you are all on the same team, working towards the same goal. Do whatever you can to help your co-workers and to be a team player.
Do your best. Often when we are being outperformed by our co-workers, it is because we are not putting forth our best effort. Ask yourself honestly, are you putting your heart and soul into your work, or are you just doing the bare minimum to get by?
Analyze. What is your co-worker doing that you aren’t? Are they working longer hours? Are they using a different approach? If you can determine what is contributing to your co-worker’s success, you may be able to use that information to help improve your own performance.
Focus on your own strengths. We can achieve a great deal of success simply by recognizing our own strengths. Your co-worker may have a specific strength that is contributing to their success. For example, they may be using their strong interpersonal skills to make useful networking connections, or perhaps their aptitude with numbers allows them to complete their work quickly. Although your strengths are different from your co-worker’s they may be equally (or even more) useful. For example, your creativity and ability to think outside the box may allow you to find unique solutions to difficult problems.
Remember that things are not always as they appear. Although it may seem like your co-worker is a stronger performer than you are, it is possible that your manager does not see it in the same way. Your co-worker may be strong in one area, but they may also have a hidden weakness. For example, while they have exceeded their targets for the past few months, they may also be undependable, or may cause conflict with other employees. Your manager may actually view you as the stronger employee.
While your co-workers can be one benchmark to assess your performance, you should not always be measuring your success based on others. Instead, set reasonable targets that are in line with your career goals, and monitor your outcomes in relation to those targets.
(Written by Karen Bivand)