It’s sad but true: your boss won’t judge you solely by the quality or quantity of your work. Other factors come into play, such as your boss’s perception of the overall contribution you bring to the team. Some workers know instinctively how to impress their boss, but if that’s not you, the good news is that there are tried-and-tested ways for you to win your boss’s favour (without appearing ingratiating). Here are a few to get you started.
#1 Become the Reliable One of the office
Be the go-to person in your office for various, practical matters. For example, be the one who knows how to unjam the photocopier or fix some other indispensable equipment – find out from your maintenance team what the typical problems are and learn how to fix them. Be the person who has a stash of snacks at the ready when the need for an energy hit arrives and everyone’s too busy to go out and buy food. Be the one who notices that the cleaning lady didn’t rock up last night, but still manages to make sure the coffee area is tidied up. These details are noticed, make no mistake.
#2 Be ahead of the pack with industry news
Become an avid reader of news related to your industry. Or, to keep things simple, set up a Google or other alert for keywords relating to your industry or sector and, as soon as pertinent information emerges, be the first to disseminate the news to your team. The message to your boss is that you are someone with an eye on the bigger picture; someone who is committed to the work of the company.
#3 Get to work early and be the last one to leave
I can already hear the moans and groans with this one – but it works. Bosses want to see their employees working. No matter the current welter of commentary about how working fewer hours boosts productivity - bosses are impressed by employees keen to put in a long shift, period. The message to your boss is this: you’re excited to be at work, and you’re task focused – you’ll stay behind to get the job done.
#4 Don’t bring your boss problems
Bring them solutions. Better, tell them about an issue you’ve solved, making sure you deftly allude to the skills you used to solve the problem. And never complain. If you must discuss an issue, find a way to frame it in a positive way or at least offer options to address it.
#5 Always be on top of your work – never be found wanting.
If your aim is to be promoted, it’s important to show that you are capable enough to handle the greater responsibility and the accountability that promotion brings. The only way that you can be evaluated is through your current role. Exceed expectations. Always be prepared. Know what’s required of you to move things forward.
#6 Always have the interests of the company at the heart of your discussions
Companies are in business to earn profit. So offer ideas and suggestions to help them do that; for example through suggestions to save time and resources.
#7 Don’t be a people pleaser
Be someone with an opinion - an informed opinion. And freely disagree with others in front of your boss (but it’s best not to disagree directly with your boss) where you genuinely have a different opinion. It takes time to develop a considered viewpoint, and it takes courage to disagree with the popular position. But courage and reasoning are respected traits that will buy you much more than popularity – they will give you the respect of your boss.
To achieve your career objectives, one of the key people you’ll need to win over is your boss - they have the most influence over your activities and can give you the recognition and challenges you need to get ahead. These seven suggestions will help you win their favour.
Do you ‘have the ear’ of your boss? What has worked for you?