Making the Grade in Your Own Backyard

I wonder, how many adults equate their annual performance evaluations with your progress reports of our primary school years? I doubt many, we tend to think those things are beyond us. The fact is, did we not even as adults going through our higher education years consider that our “grades” matter? As you know, sometimes grades do matter and it was this very afternoon that I had inspiration from my youngest son trying to “manage” his grade in middle school so that he can play football. By the way, he helped me come up with this tips so he can do better the next six weeks! (Thanks Cody!!!)

This is just the end of the 1st six weeks of school. My son has been struggling to figure out his priorities and his dad and I are letting go of the strings, if you will, so that he can learn his own work ethic. It is tough as a parent to see someone so bright and so full of potential yet unfortunately find silly ways to fail. By silly ways I mean like he does his homework but fails to turn it in. He gets so wrapped up in conversation or whatever is happening in class that turning his work in just completely slips his mind and he can’t get that time or the better grade back. For every day it is late the teacher takes off 10 points. Now, let us take a look at what changes we can make in our own back yard that might help make a difference in our next performance evaluations.

Here are 7 tips to making the grade –

  1. Do the work – Trying to do the work is not enough, you have to actually complete and turn the work in to get the proper credit for the work completed.
  2. Stay organized – Keep a schedule of work deadlines, update your calendar, make notes, keep your computer bag cleaned.
  3. Stay focused – Don’t let the environment distract you from getting things done. Office talk can often distract us from valuable time speaking with clients and inter-office customers.
  4. Keep your composure – Don’t let office politics get you down. Keep a good attitude and it can carry you a long way.
  5. Be productive – Keep your priorities and make sure that the work you are doing is complete and accurate without a lot of do-overs. In other words, check your work, your spelling, your grammar. Get it right the first time.
  6. Personal time – My son’s addition is to make sure that you bring a book to work to read during your break. This will give your mind a break from regular work so that you can focus on work during your dedicated work time.
  7. Aim high – Don’t look for just passing, aim for a higher grade, have a goal in mind as to what you want to accomplish and by the way, don’t forget to record those accomplishments throughout the year.

But think about if our offices implemented “no pass, no play” as a rule. What would our offices look like? How would they possibly function if folks are not making the grade? We have to instill those work practices within ourselves and maybe even raise the bar. After all, we all want to win don’t we? A tie score of 0-0 the other night between both teams looks like the beginning of a long road of learning ahead. Fortunately, we are just talking about 7th graders and not a bunch of adults in the workforce. I think it is important to remember that we ought to care about what our grades are as our grades say a lot about us as employees and in ever changing environments it is further more important to remain relevant and engaged in our office goals and accomplishments.

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Eva Fulton

Bill, I think that if we can teach our children to hold themselves accountable then we as parents are holding ourselves accountable as well. We not only have to teach them responsibility but be responsible ourselves and it’s okay to keep the bar raised because when we let it fall, we let our expectations fall and our success fall along the way. Thank you for your encouragement!