On the First Day of Christmas, I Thought it was the Twelfth!

Posted by martin.parnell |

If you’ve been out and about during the past few weeks, whether it be in stores, restaurants, cafes etc. you’ll have been aware of the tendency for the playing of Christmas music. One song that I have heard several times is The Twelve Days of Christmas. I must confess, I always thought this related to the last twelve days leading up to Christmas day itself. But I was wrong.

Apparently, the 12 days of Christmas is the period that in Christian theology marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings' Day).

Nevertheless, whether you relate it to the early days of the holiday or after 25th. it is still associated with the Christmas period. Now, as those of you who regularly read my blogs will know. I do enjoy taking a titbit of information and looking for a way I can relate it to business practices.

However, try as I might, I couldn’t think of anything to replace those seven swans a-swimming, let alone those 10 lords a-leaping. So, I decided to take a different tack and concentrate on that number 12.

Lo and behold, I found an article on the Job-Interview-Site entitled: The Qualities of a good Employee which “lists and discusses the 12 top qualities an employee has to possess.” Perfect! 

Now all you and I have to do is concentrate on one of these for each of the 12 days of Christmas and try to ensure that we put them in to practice each day of our working lives. 

Here they are: 

1. Communicator: Employers love to hire employees who have the ability to communicate well and express themselves in a clear manner, whether in writing or speaking. Inaccurate/inappropriate communication between employees can cause many problems to the company.

2. Self-Motivated: A good employee never hesitates taking responsibility or a more responsible position. They are also ready to work beyond the call of duty in order to meet goals or to solve problems, even if the job in discussion is not one of the regular works she or he is usually assigned.

3. Hard worker: There is no substitute to hard work. Although everyone seems to say that they work hard not many keep on working after being at the job for a while. So, one has to keep reminding oneself about the importance and significance of working hard as an employee.

4. Adaptable/decisive and effective learner: Employees who know how to adjust themselves to new environment, willing to learn new things (quick learners) and perform their best in changes are likely to be the best performers in any organization.

5. Team Player: Many companies consist of teams. Any company requires an effective team effort. An employer who can contribute is an ideal worker. Someone who is like a fish in the water (of the organization), who can perform well in a team will become a factor sooner or later.

6. Helping others: everyone appreciates a helping hand every now and then. Do not hesitate in helping out others. This make the person establish friendly relations with the coworkers and keeps the office running smoothly which in turn is appreciated by the employers.

7. Honesty: A good employee is honest about his/her work and qualifications. Self-criticism and willing to receive feedback (bad as good) is essential to become a good learner.

8. Ethical: Work rules are made to be followed. There is decorum of every place that ought to be kept. A good employee follows the policies of the company and inspires others to do so too.

9. Give credit where it is due: One of the most prevalent practices doing the rounds in offices today is stealing the credit of a job well done. A good employee will not only truthfully let the right co-worker have her credit but also share her own accolades with his team.

10. Polite: Being friendly and approachable will never harm. A good employee greets her co-workers a ‘good morning’, says little courteous things like ‘thank you’ and ‘you are welcome’. These things may appear insignificant but go a long way in establishing the person as favorite employee.

11. Disciplined and punctual: Every boss loves a punctual, disciplined and conscientious employee. Time is money. Coming late to office, taking unnecessary breaks, procrastinating and leaving earlier than the usual hours cost money to the company. No employer will ever appreciate this.

12. Avoid gossip: The person should always remember that she came to the office to work, to make a career. Do not spread office gossip or rumors. Respect the privacy of the co-workers. Safeguard and protect the confidential nature of office business and transactions.

I won’t be posting a blog for the next two weeks, as its Christmas and New Year’s days. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours all the very best for the holidays, wherever and however you may be spending them and all the very best for 2019.

About the Author

Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and his final book in the Marathon Trilogy, THE SECRET MARATHON-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport, was released on October 30th 2018. He speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Your Full Potential” and has written for, or been covered by CNNBBCCBCThe Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.

In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. In 2016 he ran the Marathon of Afghanistan in support of Afghan women and girls running for equality. Find out more about Martin at www.martinparnell.com  and see what he can do for you in the long run.

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