It’s no secret the workplace can be highly competitive, with hundreds, if not thousands of employees struggling to gain the recognition from the boss.
Here are six tips to help you stay ahead and in the good books of your leaders.
1. Get personal
Hit the ground running with relationship building when it comes to your boss. Understanding how your boss works, his preferences in communication styles, how he likes reports and updates to be presented to him, and even finding out a bit about his personal life can help build trust in your relationship.
Of course, it is also important to remember where to draw the line, and avoid get too personal by talking about things like family, politics or religion.
2. Take on a mentor-mentee role
Your boss is probably one of the best people in the whole organisation to help you with your career development. This mentor-mentee relationship does not necessarily have to be formally structured, but constantly ask for feedback, advice and do not be afraid to counsel your boss for advice if there is something you need to clarify.
This will also signal to your boss that you’re willing to learn, and consider him someone who is able to add value to your professional growth.
3. Help him to help you
Carrying on from the above point, it might also be helpful to remember that it isn’t a one-way street when it comes to career development. You were hired because your boss saw potential in you to help propel the company – and him – forward. Make sure you’re available to help him move forward as a leader.
4. Be a problem solver
It is easy to point out flaws or whinge about a challenge or issue within the organisation, but unless you’re helping come up with solutions to the problem, you’re nothing more than a complainer. If you’ve identified a gap in the workflow, think of at least three possible solutions to the problem before highlighting it. This shows initiative on your end, earning those much needed brownie points from the top.
5. Honesty is the best policy
The days of bosses wanting to be surrounded by ‘yes men’ are long over, and in today’s business world leaders have prioritised transparency when it comes to communication.
Admit to mistakes or failures early on, make sure you’re always honest with your boss and, while it can be a tough pill to swallow, being honest and loyal will pay off in the long run.
6. Be genuine
If you have to take away only one thing from this list, remember to be authentic in your work. Thanks to flexible working structures, employee resource groups and a higher importance on work-life balance, it’s become easier than ever to bring your whole self to work.
Your boss will find it easier to trust you and pass on responsibilities if he knows you’re not just putting on a front at work.