Apart from working hard, having the right technical skills, and always achieving all your work goals, there are other ways you can impress your boss, and we’re not talking about washing his car or shining his shoes.
From being an employee who does manual work to one that manages a team of 50 people, there are certain principles that are universally appreciated by bosses regardless of the job scope and market.
To be highly successful impressive employees, there are a few timeless traits that you should inculcate in your working attitude. Here are 8 legitimate ways you can take up to impress your boss, regardless of whether you are a new employee, an established one or a team lead.
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1. Be Proactive: Be Willing to Learn
When you first join an organization, chances are that your boss will only ‘teach’ you what you need to know in order to do your job properly. There are many things outside your job scope that you need to learn in order to familiarize yourself with the organization.
There are also things that can’t be taught, such as unofficial or unwritten shortcuts that your boss and/or colleagues might know of when it comes to dealing with certain things or people.
For one reason or another, your boss would probably prefer that you find out these shortcuts for yourself through the course of your work or interactions with colleagues and clients. That’s where your willingness to learn will help propel your career.
Learn the hard way or Just Listen
In some cases, there are lessons that you can only acquire through experience; there’s no way to go about it but to dive in headlong and learn things the hard way. Hence, you should be proactive and be open to new experiences, be willing to try out new things, and listen to the advice from people who have been there, done that.
Your initiative is essential to your personal career growth. If you don’t have the initiative, you’ll never ‘get it’ no matter who teaches you.
2. Be Proactive: Find Solutions
After getting acquainted with your job, you’ll find that there are certain existing loopholes or prevailing problems that have been left unsolved by the current crew. This can well be your opportunity to shine.
Seek these problems and raise the issue with your boss, but don’t stop there. Come up with some potential solutions to solve them. Even if you have yet to appreciate the scenario as much as your boss does, the fact that you’ve shown the initiative to think through them will probably impress on him or her.
Suggest but Don’t Force
Do not, however, make the mistake of forcing your solution into effect. Some problems prevail because of unclear reasons that you should probably figure out before you make any rash changes to the norm.
This is especially true when you are in a decision-making role, because the changes you impose to a well-established structure, no matter how flawed, will undoubtedly face resistance from parts of the organization.
Also check out: 6 Tips Towards Not Having Pointless Meetings
3. Be Responsible: Admit Your Mistakes
We make mistakes from time to time, that’s how we learn. Any decent boss will recognize this as a way of life and will value your honesty and integrity over your ability to fess up and admit that you screwed up. Everyone can make mistakes but not everyone dare admit that they did.
Your boss may be happier to know that he has an employee who takes responsibility for their actions even if you feel that you have let them down.
That being said, take note that not all bosses (or management) tolerate mistakes. Therefore, it is expected of you to come up with a solution especially when the problem you have created had dire consequences.
Draw up and present a concrete plan to rectify the issue or minimize the damage caused. Even if the idea does not sound feasible to them, at least you have shown your efforts in trying to remedy it.
4. Be Responsible: Act on What You Say
Establish a good rep for yourself in the organization by making your promises happen. This is important if you want people to take your words seriously. Being able to deliver is a mark of reliability for you as an employee or essentially someone people work with. Your boss will entrust you with greater responsibilities as you prove that you can walk the talk.
Watch what is on your Plate
There are times when you may find it hard to keep fulfilling your promises for various reasons. For instance, you may have promised your boss to get a certain project done by a certain deadline, but other work commitments got in the way. Under such circumstances, you should consider negotiating with your boss for a lesser workload, or a later deadline to get the project done.
It’s not that straightforward all the time, so you will definitely have to weigh your options and prioritize. The bottom line is, don’t promise what you probably can’t deliver!
5. Be a team Player: Volunteer
Offer to help your colleagues when they get overwhelmed by their workload. This will not only earn you the respect from your boss, but also from your teammates. If you prefer this approach, there are a few things you should be wary of.
First, make sure that you can cope with your own workload first before offering to help. Secondly, suffice to say that you should assume a secondary role especially when decisions are to be made. You should not assume responsibility for another person’s job.
Also be advised that when you offer your help too often, your colleagues might take this for granted and pass their work to you. You should know when to draw the line to make sure that you only help them when they are drowning in their work, not when they still have time to chat with the receptionist. One thing you can look forward to with this approach is that when you need help yourself, you know who you can turn to.
6. Be a team Player: Stay Upbeat
When morale is low in the office, everyone’s dragging their feet to work every morning. Work productivity drops, and complaints get louder day by day. If there could only be a person who turns up for work on time every day, who gives his best in his job, doesn’t complain, keeps everyone motivated with his positivity, subconsciously inspiring and lifting the spirits of even those who’ve only heard about him, he would be the life of the office.
Now, imagine if you are that person. You will be that shining beacon of light in times of chaos for others to look up to. You’ll ‘lighten’ up your working environment. For this to work, you need to have a positive attitude at work. Not only does positivity give you the energy to perform your best at work, it also distinguishes you from the rest of the crowd. You’ll not only impress the boss, but you can also impress everyone in the office.
7. Be a leader: Fight for your Staff
If you’re managing a group of people under you, note that your boss will assess you with a different yardstick. As the leader and decision maker of the group, you represent your team when dealing with higher authority aka the boss.
You have a greater say than your subordinates when it comes to requests for things important to the well-being of your staff. This is where you can impress your boss and make your team members look up to you.
Be a part of the Team
Whether it is about turning away unnecessary workload for your team, or about getting a larger chunk of the resources or more benefits for your people, showing that you care enough to act on their behalf would earn you valuable points as a leader. And in return, your staff would prefer to remain under your care and supervision and will deliver and perform better.
Fight for your staff and in return, they will fight for you. And that’s how you impress your boss and become invaluable to the organization.
8. Be a Leader: Practice what you Preach
You can’t be the person setting the rules, then breaking them. Life doesn’t work that way. Lead by example, they say – actually, nowadays they demand it. If you yourself demand that your team be punctual to work every day, as the leader who is seen to be more capable and reliable, you can’t be the last person to enter the office. Break the rules one time too often and it’ll just be a matter of time before your authority and power gets undermined.
Ultimately, how you behave as a leader affects the entire team you’re leading. A team is only as disciplined as how their leader is.
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How your team acts will have an impact on the entire team your boss is leading: the organization. If you are looking to impress your boss, then make sure you put on your best behavior for your people to follow. For more survival tactics in the office environment, check out Survive Office: 10 Tips For Moving Up Corporate Ladder