Have you ever wondered what your boss thinks of you? I know I have. Whether you admit it or not, we all spend time thinking about our managers. I can’t say this is a bad thing; our bosses have a huge impact on our careers and chances are you’ll advance more quickly if you establish a strong working relationship with yours.
While there’s no guarantee you will instantly click with your manager, the below guidelines may be useful if you’re looking for tips on how to get on – and stay on — your manager’s good side.
1. Value your manager’s time.
You may not be aware of everything your manager does, but I can assure you that he or she has a lot going on. As a good employee, it is your responsibility to respect your manager’s time and manage it well. Develop strong relationships with your peers and consult with them – many problems are solved without manager involvement. When you do approach your manager, make sure you are well informed and prepared for the discussion so as to not waste time. Respecting your manager’s time also means listening and being on top of current events.
2. Offer solutions vs. problems.
No matter how much work you put into your job, there will always be things to complain about, things that frustrate you, or things that lower your job performance. We love to talk about these issues with our colleagues, but venting alone never solves our problems. Try to look at issues as possible opportunities for improvement by considering specific resolutions to those issues. Whenever you approach your manager with a problem, always be prepared with an analysis and a proposed resolution. For example, if your work is badly affected by the work of another team due to poor communication, consider what could be done to improve communications, outline a specific plan, and present the solution to your manager along with the problem.
3. Go above and beyond, continuously.
OK – did you instantly think, “I’m not working more than 40 hours a week, no way!”? Going above and beyond doesn’t necessarily have to affect your work schedule. Sure, sometimes you’ll need to put in a few extra hours to meet a deadline, but going above and beyond is about the quality of the work you do and the commitment you show to your manager and team. Working better does not always equal working more. Whether it’s exceptional customer service, stepping up and helping a new team member get up to speed, or volunteering to document a new process for your team, work hard and be proud of the work that you do. This will lead to quality work that will be acknowledged and appreciated by your manager.
4. Seek growth and development.
Success cannot be defined by a single achievement; it is the process of continually improving your skills and growing as a professional. If you are looking to advance your career, or maybe change course in the work you’re doing, discuss your goals and aspirations with your manager. Part of your manager’s job is to provide mentorship and guidance and help you reach your highest potential.
5. Have a positive attitude.
Sometimes we have to do something we don’t like for the good of the team. Try to have a positive attitude when situations don’t go your way. Being a team player is a key element of being a good employee at any company. Bring your best ‘can-do’ attitude to work and always strive to be a positive influence on your co-workers. You quickly will notice that problems are resolved much quicker with a positive mindset. Your manager will be thankful for sharing your good vibes with the team.
6. Be a visionary.
Yes, you are a great problem solver, but do you want to truly stand out? In addition to focusing on what’s broken and how to fix it (see 2.), present your manager with new ideas for your business. Understand your business, think proactively, and consider how you can build efficiency, improve processes, and expand.
7. Be accountable.
I can see all the bosses reading this and nodding their heads in approval. As simple as it might seem, there are few qualities your boss will appreciate more than accountability. If you want to be a fantastic employee keep your word, follow up on your commitments, and be accountable for your actions. Making excuses is so high school (dog ate my paper?). Become your manager’s go-to employee by being punctual, courteous, and responsive, and more responsibility will come your way.
Believe it or not, you can build a reputation as a helpful and engaged member of your team without ‘sucking up’ to your manager. Follow the above tips and always strive to add value to your team and company. It will do wonders for your professional profile.
Do you have any tips to share for becoming an invaluable team member?