How do you succeed in a new job — or even a job you’ve held for years?
One success factor not to overlook is to align your goals with your manager’s goals.
Here are five ways to make your boss happy.
Making your manager happy, of course, is not the only key to success in your job. Your boss may play an important role in your life on the job or may be a bit player. Every situation is different, but it is never a bad idea to keep your supervisor happy, as long as his or her requirements are reasonable.
If you exhaust yourself trying to keep an overly demanding manager happy, one day your body will rebel and you’ll get sick. You’ll get tired of trying to please a manager who can’t appreciate what s/he’s got.
If that happens, you’ll launch a stealth job search and find a new job that deserves your talents!
If you like your job and want to make your manager’s life easier, here are five ways to do so.
Close The Loop
One of the most common complaints managers have about their employees, no matter how wonderful those employees are, is that team members don’t keep their managers in the loop.
They forget to circle back and say things like “I took care of that issue in Philadelphia” or “The new prices are updated across the website, so you can take that action item off your list.”
Take a minute to let your boss know the status of projects you’re working on. That will reduce the stress level for both of you!
Know Your Company And Your Industry
We never lose the opportunity or the obligation to keep learning more and more about our role at any job. We never reach a point where there is nothing more for us to learn about our employer, its competitors and its customers, no matter what job title you hold.
We all need to keep our eyes and ears open, ask questions and be able to answer these questions:
• How does your employer make money?
• How does your department help your company succeed?
• How does your job contribute to your organization’s results?
• What are your company’s goals for this year? How are they doing against those goals?
• Who are your principal competitors?
• Who are your clients?
• Why do clients buy from you instead of other vendors?
• What are the trends that are most significantly affecting your industry right now?
Connect The Dots
You’ll be an even better scout and adviser for your manager when you spot items of significance and pass them on. Here’s an example:
Hey, Sally? I heard you mention at the staff meeting last week that you’re looking for an account that uses our high-speed products in a training application and I think I found one. Angry Chocolates uses our high-speed stuff to train their retailers around the world. Should I see whether they’d like to participate in our case study?”
Too many people tune out at work. They don’t stay awake and aware and they don’t know much about their team’s or their manager’s goals. The more you can connect the dots to help your boss hit his or her milestones, the more fun and successful your job will be.
Represent Your Department And Your Organization Well
When you are well-informed about your business and your place in it, you can represent your department well at meetings and other events. You can represent your company professionally when you network face-to-face or virtually and when you attend professional conferences.
Your dress, your manners and your understanding of the world — not just the business world — all impact your effectiveness as an ambassador for your organization, inside your building and outside it.
Become A Boundary Spanner
Boundary Spanners are employees who have relationships throughout their organizations, far beyond their own team or department. They learn more and make better decisions than people who don’t have internal networks of employees who know the and vice versa.
Boundary Spanners also have more successful careers than folks who limit their conversations and relationships at work to their own small band of teammates.
Some bosses are insecure and won’t be comfortable as you spread your wings and become a boundary spanner in your organization.
That manager is not the kind of boss who can grow your flame, so don’t waste another minute trying to salve his or her fragile ego. The world is big. Look beyond your current job in that case, because a better boss is in your future!
Author, Liz Ryan is CEO/founder of Human Workplace and author