Good employees are imaginative and innovative. Good employees think for themselves. Good employees aren't afraid to question the status quo. Good employees speak up when they have a better idea.
These truths can be found in any getting-ahead-in-business manual, but what most experts forget to mention is that good employees also suggest even the most elementary changes in company policy or procedure carefully -- very carefully -- or they end up as ex-employees.
It's true that there's hardly a job that can't be done better. It's also true that change upsets people.
So before you suggest a change in the status quo, ask yourself: "Have I done my homework?" Then ask yourself these:
*Do I know why things have been handled this way in the past? Do I know if they're being handled the same way in other departments?
*Do I know at least two realistic, specific benefits that would result from making the change?
*How will the change I'm about to suggest benefit my boss, in particular, if she accepts the suggestion?
*How long would it take my boss and/or the company to realize these appreciable and measurable benefits?
*What's the cost of making this change? To my boss? To the company? Can my boss and I make this change on our own, or will other personnel have to be consulted and/or involved?
*What can I learn from the past? How does my company's management usually react to suggestions from its employees?
*Do I have a good track record with my boss? With this company?
If your job performance hasn't been 100 percent lately, clean up your act before suggesting how the company -- or your boss -- should change theirs.
*Finally, how much of my self-confidence and self-esteem are wrapped up in my company's acceptance or rejection of this great idea? Am I clear that if it's rejected, this does not mean that I am rejected -- or even that my idea was dumb or rash or scatterbrained or naive or stupid?