10 Tips on Impressing Your Boss
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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, 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.
© 2014 David Livermore