Set yourself apart, and help your company thrive

"Although employees do not have much control over their company's financial situation, there are ways workers can decrease the chances they will be affected and steps they can take to correct performance-related issues," said Patty Prosser, chair of OI Partners, a leading global coaching and leadership development/consulting firm.

OI Partners offers these tips to employees to decrease their risk of being affected:

-- Outperform expectations in your job.

"Go well above the minimum requirements and seek to make yourself indispensable. Demonstrate how motivated you are and gain a reputation as someone who consistently delivers more than expected," said Prosser. If you just "do your job," you're not asking to stay or be promoted.

-- Show you are a team player. Being part of a team is the No. 1 quality employers desire in workers, according to an OI Partners survey.

"This has taken on a higher priority since many companies are operating with leaner workforces and there is a greater need to accomplish goals through others," said Prosser.

-- Offer ideas that could help grow the business, or attract and retain customers. Be on the lookout for ways to increase revenue, profits, productivity and efficiency.

"The more you do to help your company, the more valuable you become to them," said Prosser.

-- Be on time and dependable. "Follow company rules such as keeping your cellphone off during working hours and doing your job rather than excessively surfing the Internet. Don't spread rumors or be an agitator. It is OK to ask relevant questions, but do not become the company malcontent," said Prosser.

-- Be positive and supportive. "It is contagious and encourages others to do the same," said Prosser.

-- Keep on top of the latest technology and new developments in your field. Take classes or workshops to stay current with advances in your profession and in other areas that have an impact on business.

-- Set yourself apart: "Do something that will give you added recognition, such as write an article for a trade publication, or be a speaker at a conference. Volunteer to lead a special project, task force or charity drive to showcase your ability to take on responsibility," said Prosser.

Also, extremely important: Do what others fail to do!