The word “prepared” is defined as – making ready beforehand for some purpose, use, or activity. Being prepared is necessary for almost all tasks related to your job (and life). The act of being prepared is something that should be continuously practiced and put forth in every given situation. I’m not just talking about coming prepared with a pen or pencil. Being prepared goes as far as when you task someone with something and preparing them the best you can to get the task done. If you’re thinking back to that email you sent to Jim this morning with unclear instructions on the spreadsheet you wanted to be completed, good. This is for you.

Of course, we will begin with being prepared for the (probably) endless number of meetings you attend daily. Whether virtual or in the office, you should be prepared with all material needed to make it to the end of the meeting successfully. This could include a report, a notepad, highlighters (yes, highlighters), and a general idea of the purpose/goal of the meeting. If you’re presenting the meeting, you should ideally be the MOST prepared one in the room. You should come with multiple copies of all material your attendees will need (i.e., spreadsheets, reporting, forecasts, etc.), or if virtual, ensure an email is sent to all necessary attendees with the included material. On top of preparing your attendees, you should be prepared to answer any questions that may arise. If you do not know the answer, it is your job to find it, and then get back to the person ASAP. A simple “I’m not sure,” won’t fly. Prepare yourself so you can prepare others.

If you are an employer, attending a meeting (quarterly, annually, 90, days, etc.) are you coming prepared? Your employee likely looks forward to this meeting with you to get some one-on-one feedback, or perhaps present a concern they may be having. If you are arriving late to the meeting and unsure of what the goal/topic of the meeting even is, you might as well just leave. That is a sure-fire way to make your employee feel like you don’t care about their presence/future in the company. Even though that’s probably not true, part of your job as a manager is to make serious to you what is serious to them and blowing off meetings by either not showing or not being prepared when it happens is extremely discouraging.

This brings me to my next point which is being prepared to task someone with something. Let’s say you are asking someone to make a spreadsheet for you. It’s safe to assume they will need the report that you would like them to pull this information from. So rather than waiting for them to ask you for it, send it with the email requesting said task. Make sure you are preparing them with all material you possibly can. This will not only expedite the completion of the task, but it will create great morale amongst you and that coworker. Could they go find the report themselves? Yes. But by you giving it to them it shows you are all part of a team working toward the same goal, and no task is too small.

Are you an employee who might be asking for a raise? I wish it were as simple as that, but wouldn’t you feel a little silly walking into your superior’s office and saying, “I would like a raise,” and then just standing there? If you are going to ask for a raise or promotion you should prepare your superior by asking them for a meeting and giving them an idea of the purpose. This way they are prepared for the topic of conversation. Next, you should be prepared with any numbers you may need that show why you are deserving of said raise. As much as we’d all like a raise, you need to prove that you’ve earned that raise.

Are you going to your boss with a problem/concern you’re having? It is recommended that along with the problem you are presenting that you also propose a solution to that problem. If Linda in the cubicle next to you won’t stop talking, maybe try to offer to change desks if that is an option available to you. If you’re having trouble managing your workload, see If there is a way you could do something different that would expedite one of your tasks. You will get a better response from your manager if you present a solution along with your concern.

Are you prepared for your new hire to start? Great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by over 80%. If you’re running in the door late on their first day it is not a good look. Their first day should be just as important to you as it is to them. The best way to show them that is in fact true is to be prepared with a plan for their day from the time they arrive to the time they leave.

If you are looking for a new role or a qualified candidate to fill an open role, please give us a call at (518) 275-4816 where we are happy to find your perfect fit!