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The four methods to increase your own non-substitutability at your place of work.
- First, strive to differentiate yourself compared to other workers. If all other workers leave the office at 5pm, then you should leave at 6pm. Instead of copying your co-workers as a way of fitting in, you should rather find ways of standing out for positive reasons. Simply Work in a different style. Dress better. Socialise more effectively. Whatever method you choose for differentiating yourself from the others, do it consistently and gain a reputation in people’s minds for that positive differentiating behaviour.
- Second, attempt to control the tasks in your department. Show through your actions that you possess capabilities of getting the job done every time. Become the bridge between other departments, other supervisors, and other employees and the tasks that require completion.When you stand out as the employee who bridges the gaps and controls tasks, even if you do not do the tasks yourself, you increase your non-substitutability in your boss’ mind.
- Third, control labour where you work. Perhaps your organisation maintains a workers union, staff council, or staff welfare board. Utilise the opportunity to speak on behalf of other employees.Work diplomatically in such a role so that management does not see you as a complaining representative, but rather someone reasonable that brokers deals and gets things done in motivating other employees. Perform well controlling labour, and expect management to soon actually promote you among their ranks into management itself.
- Fourth, control knowledge. Start by understanding your company’s business, market, and clients. Then learn your clients’ businesses and markets. Look for gaps where others lack knowledge of an area.Next, start to control knowledge sharing at your company. Even offer to manage content on an internal webpage for knowledge sharing.
Strive to gain likability by your co-workers. Likability and personable skills gain you referent power. Your ability to garner referent power makes you more powerful than even managers with official power.Jump at the chance to solve company problems or work in growth areas of the firm. Then, further increase your power as a reliable professional who manages critical problems.
- Finally: stay close to power. If others before you gained power, get close to them and make allies. Stay close to those with official power, like the CEO, and those with referent power, like everyone’s favourite employee. Your proximity to power increases your own power through employees’ own subconscious psychological association between you and power.