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10 Tips on Impressing Your Boss

Updated on May 1, 2020
davidlivermore profile image

David has over 15 years supervisory experience and has extensive knowledge in how to handle personnel issues across many areas.

Your boss is like a child.  They always need to be kept happy.  Impressing them is a great way to do that.
Your boss is like a child. They always need to be kept happy. Impressing them is a great way to do that. | Source

Impressing Your Boss

It may seem unnecessary that you have to try to impress your boss as long as you do your job. Unfortunately, impressing your boss is part of your job duties. What your boss thinks of you can go a long way in your career. It doesn't matter if you are working a minimum wage job or hold a high level position within your organization - you have to try to impress your boss.

Impressing your supervisor can be a difficult process. Something that could impress one boss may not impress another boss. However, there are some general tips to follow so that you can accomplish this with any boss. This article provides 10 tips on how to impress your boss along with some personal stories related to those tips.

What is the hardest part about change?

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Change, Adapt, and Grow

One of the hardest things for people to do is change. In the workplace you always have to find a way to adapt to a changing environment. You can't stay stuck in the past with how things were always done. Your boss will tell you that the organization isn't doing things one way anymore and you will be expected to adapt to that change. Impress your boss by adjusting with change in the workplace. Better yet, when you know change is coming, be one of the first employees to change. That will really impress your boss.

How I Didn't Change in the Workplace

When my boss wanted to change something small in a procedure, I was against it. My reason was that we were always doing it one way and I didn't see a need to change. She had a good reason to suggest the change, but I didn't want to adapt. That has stuck with me for over 10 years and affects how I respond to change in the workplace now.

Failure to do your job is no way to impress your boss.
Failure to do your job is no way to impress your boss. | Source

Do Your Job

This one may seem unnecessary to include, but it is actually very important. Some employees focus on office politics, kissing up to the boss, etc. However, in the end they fail to do their actual job. Boss's know when an employee doesn't do their job. No matter how much kissing up you do, if you fail to do your job it won't really matter. Want to impress your boss? Come in and do your job. A standard employee who does their job will outshine someone who sucks up to the boss, but doesn't do their job.

An Employee Used My Interests Against Me

While I was still a new supervisor I had an employee hired and placed under me. This was a temporary employee who was trying to get a permanent position in the organization. This employee and I shared similar interests and got along well. After their term ended I found out that they weren't doing the job. The employee used our shared interests against me in an effort to avoid doing their job, which didn't impress me at all. This employee was not invited back to our organization.

Do you have trouble learning from your mistakes?

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Learn From Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. It's inevitable and can't be avoided. As a supervisor I have to go to my staff and talk to them about mistakes they made. Of course people can react to this in variety of ways. They can get upset or show that they don't care. The best way to respond to this situation is try to learn from the mistake. Ask questions on how you can avoid the same mistake in the future or what impact this mistake had on the organization. You will impress your boss if you try to learn from your mistake, even if it was a costly one.

A Failing Employee Rises Up

I had an employee who was getting close to being terminated for the actions they were taking. This person did not impress me with their work ethics and lack of professionalism. However, this person eventually bounced back and learned from their mistakes. By the time this person retired, I considered them to be a solid employee that I hated to lose.

Going into work with a positive attitude will impress your boss more than a negative one will.
Going into work with a positive attitude will impress your boss more than a negative one will. | Source

Be Positive

This is one of the hardest things to do. It's very easy to find something negative in your organization. It is even easier to find someone to complain to about it. However, that is not the way to go. If you find something wrong in your organization, don't complain about it. Analyze the issue and bring a solution to your supervisor. If you don't have a solution, point out the problem without sounding negative. Being negative in the workplace can just make a toxic atmosphere. Try to find things to be positive about and share those with your co-workers. Being positive will spread if you try hard enough and will impress your boss.

I Constantly Complained About One Issue

When I first became a supervisor I had no idea what I said would be carried throughout the office and eventually to the ears of my supervisor. I would complain about one thing each time it would happen. My boss stated I shouldn't complain and sound so negative. Instead, I should do what is expected and try to sound more positive. This incident has stuck with me for over 10 years. While I still complain, I only do so constructively and privately, if possible.

Does your workplace have a leader that isn't your supervisor?

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Become a Leader in the Workplace

Your boss is there to oversee the entire operation. While they need to know the general duties employees perform, they won't know every single detail. Furthermore, they can't always be there to ensure the ship is running smoothly. This leaves a great opportunity for an employee to become a leader in the workplace. Not only does it require you to learn all aspects of your job, it requires you to step up to answer questions from others, help implement changes, and become the go to person in the workplace. Something like this will impress your boss and show that you are ready for a leadership position.

A Timid Employee Becomes a Leader

I had an employee under me who knew their stuff but never shined as much as I hoped they would. Eventually this person was put on a shift with no direct supervisor, but they were the most knowledgeable person on that shift. This employee stepped up to the task and became a leader on that shift. This employee eventually became a leader for the entire office who had the ability to promote to a supervisory level.

If you make things happen in the workplace, it will impress your supervisor greatly.
If you make things happen in the workplace, it will impress your supervisor greatly. | Source

Do More Than What is Expected

Each and every job out there has specific duties that you must accomplish. There are some people out there that stick to those duties and that's it. Nothing is wrong with that, but it's no way to impress your boss. But the exceptional people out there will try to do more than what is expected from them. They will try to learn other duties, other jobs, and anything else that will better them as an employee. A boss who sees that will go to that employee more often for special tasks. This makes an employee a great employee instead of just being a standard one.

I Performed Multiple Job Duties

At the time of writing this article I performed multiple jobs outside of my regular job classification. Not only do I oversee the operation of my unit, I also oversee my day shift since I don't have a supervisor below me to do that. Job duties normally given to a separate employee I handle due to staffing issues. I also perform some highly technical duties even though my job specifications don't state that I have to. I know all of this impresses my boss.

Do you have problems telling your boss no?

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Learn to Say No

There are some employees in the office who will say yes to everything no matter what it is. They could know that the solution offered is wrong, or by saying yes to something they will take on more work than they can handle. But they will say yes because they think that will impress their boss. That isn't always the case. Supervisors won't go to an employee who always says yes to something. They want an honest employee who isn't afraid to say no. Don't say no just because of it. Only say no if you feel there is a reason why something shouldn't be done. Even if you are wrong, your boss will appreciate the honest input.

I Said No to Everyone

I was in a committee and we were thinking of titles to use on a webpage we were working on. Everyone settled on a title for one of these webpages, but I was insistent that I didn't like it and we shouldn't use it. We sat there for another hour before we found another title. This impressed everyone, including a higher level boss that was on that committee.

Finding solutions to problems can be a great way to impress your boss.
Finding solutions to problems can be a great way to impress your boss. | Source

Find Solutions to Problems

Some employees find a problem and instantly take it to their supervisor without even attempting to fix it. This is something that actually annoys supervisors greatly, especially if it's a problem that an employee can handle on their own. Boss's are impressed by employees who find a problem and take the time to fix it. If it's a big problem, then the employee should contact their supervisor and let them know of the solution they found. This keeps the supervisor in the loop. Don't do this for petty problems, as it may seem like you are just trying to make yourself look good. If you know your organization, you should know the difference between a small and big problem.

A Bad Employee Offered a Great Solution

I had an employee with many years of experience in my office, but they had problems performing their job duties. It wasn't enough to get them terminated, but they never did impress me. One day my unit was advised to take over a job duty. This employee came up with a great idea to resolve an issue we were having with this job duty. It's a solution we are using to this day. That solution impressed me greatly and made me think more highly of that employee.

Do you have trouble talking to your boss on a personal level?

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Talk to Your Boss

There are employee out there who are too scared or timid to hold a conversation with their boss. They think that every conversation is a test. That isn't true at all. A supervisor is a person who wants to develop a working relationship with their employees. Sometimes a boss feels alone in their job since they could be the only one in that title. Impress your boss by holding a personal conversation with them. It will make the both of you feel more comfortable and allow for a more friendly work environment.

My Boss's Boss

Even though I knew and had worked with my boss's boss for awhile, I never felt comfortable talking to them. In time I saw this supervisor more for unrelated reasons. I made the effort to talk to them more to learn more about them on a personal level. This has made our working relationship better and I feel more comfortable going to them when issues arise. In turn, I know this boss has spoken highly of me. I felt talking to this supervisor created a stronger working relationship.

Make things in the workplace possible by taking the "im" out of impossible.
Make things in the workplace possible by taking the "im" out of impossible. | Source

Pull Off the Impossible

There are things that your boss won't expect of you. There are things that your boss can't do that you can do easily. Pulling off the impossible, even if it's easy for you, will impress your boss. A supervisor may give you a task knowing it will be impossible to do the way they want. If you come back with those impossible results, your boss will remember that far into the future. This can be difficult to do. If you fail, it won't be the worst thing in the world, but you would have lost out on a golden opportunity to impress your boss.

I Fixed a Problem

My boss sent me a computer document from one of their other employees that no one was able to fix. I looked at it, researched the problem, and had the fixed document back to my boss in less than an hour. This greatly impressed my supervisor, which lead to me taking on more tasks that required my technical expertise.

Have Any Tips on How to Impress Your Boss?

If you know of any other ways to impress your boss, please include them in the comments below. If you have any stories to share about how you impressed your boss or if you were impressed by something one of your employees did, share them in the comments below as well.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2014 David Livermore


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    • peachpurple profile image


      11 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      I cannot say NO to my boss. When my colleague said NO she can't finish the job by deadline, she was furious and started to create problems for her

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      you really have an interesting hub

      the complaining part doesn't help much in organisations in a positive way

    • AaronBurton profile image

      Aaron Burton 

      6 years ago from US

      Congrats on hub of the day that's major!

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 

      6 years ago from Washington State

      Congrats on HOTD! Your call outs, pictures and polls were quite engaging. I totally agree these are the best ways to impress bosses. Interesting, voted up and shared.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great article. As one who has also managed other employees, I would agree that any employee who followed your advice would be top candidates for promotions on my team. I especially like the point you made about being a problem solver. Come to me with your problem only when you have some ideas about how to fix it.

      Only thing I would add is a bit about employees who chuck their teammates under buses to get ahead of them. That's one way to end up on my blacklist.

      Congrats on your award - well deserved!

    • micko27 profile image

      Mirjan Stojanovic 

      6 years ago from Belgrade

      Although I have no boss, as I am freelancer, I must say that this article is pretty useful. So simple but people are sometimes afraid to do things like they should!

    • NomineeDirector profile image

      John Malik 

      6 years ago from Sheffield

      These are very impressive tricks, I am definitely follow these and impress my boss. Thanks

    • jeffreyguard profile image

      Jeffrey Guard 

      6 years ago from New York City

      This is a great format, really allows for a speed read while also being able to grab the major points! I also like that the emphasis was on how you, the employee, affect the environment with your attitude.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      This is an excellent hub which should be required reading and bookmarking for every employee, supervisor, manager, and executive. Sadly, so many people fail to follow these simple steps as to how to be an asset to their companies much to their peril.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ooops--meant to say congrats on your Hub of the Day award but got engaged in your topic...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this great information from your personal experience. People need to be taught how to be great employees and to understand how being great employees can benefit them. Pinning to my Solve It: Money/Workplace board.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nice and useful hub! Some very useful tips to impress the Boss. Congratulations for HOTD! Well presented and thanks for sharing your experience here.

      Voted up!

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 

      6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Great article, David. The content was very useful and your use of the new capsule was really good. Thanks for adding your own experiencing too. The article is authentic and authoritative. All my best!

    • profile image

      Jimmy Teneke 

      6 years ago

      This is a very informative piece of writing. I can relate well to it.

    • mySuccess8 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great and very relevant tips, which are about inculcating positive attitudes at work. One other tip I would like to add is "showing cost-efficiency at work". Congrats on HotD!

    • SAQIB6608 profile image


      6 years ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

      Realistic words. Overall Good Piece of writing

    • dhimanreena profile image

      Reena Dhiman 

      6 years ago

      Its a very useful article. You seldom get a chance to impress your boss and I am sure by implementing your tactics, I will be able to do so.

    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image

      Stephanie Launiu 

      6 years ago from Hawai'i

      Voted up, useful, interesting and tweeted. Great info! Aloha, Stephanie


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