Some people are lucky enough to be their own bosses. For the rest of us, though, there’s another person in charge — and that means we must build a solid relationship with them. Our goal: to become an essential employee they know they can count on.
A great bond is a two-way street, of course, but you can still make an effort to ensure your manager appreciates you as they should.
Here are seven ideas for ways to make your boss think of you an essential employee.
1. Solve Problems Solo When Possible
There’s nothing wrong with asking questions, of course. However, when you have a unique issue to resolve, you’re better off trying to handle it on your own first. You might surprise yourself by coming to a conclusion without help from your manager.
Once you’ve exhausted all potential solutions, then you can approach your boss for guidance. Be sure to note all the attempts you made to fix things solo, so they know you’re not piling more work on their plate — instead, you’re genuinely in need of guidance.
2. Know Their Focus
Whether it’s in meetings, in emails or one-on-one, your boss has likely made clear what their goals and focuses are for the week, quarter and year ahead. As such, you should keep an eye to these priorities to become an essential employee.
You might have some disparity between your annual resolutions and your boss’s. But making time to help them with the team or company mission in addition to accomplishing your own benchmarks will make you an essential employee.
3. Provide Regular Updates
Your manager will undoubtedly love that you work independently. What won’t be as lovable is if you keep all of that progress to yourself. Be sure to keep your boss in the loop when you’ve completed an important task, made headway on a big project or spoken with a valuable client.
Even if you don’t have time to sit down daily for a rundown of what you’ve done and what’s ahead, an email round-up or an instant message alert can go a long way. In fact, being responsive is one of the top ways to make a difference in any professional role.
4. Match Their Preferred Style of Communication
In a similar vein, you can easily figure out how your boss prefers to communicate. Do they drop by your office for a daily chat? Do they call you multiple times a week? Or do they shoot you updates via email?
After a bit of time on the job, you can probably discern which method is your boss’s favorite. Start using that avenue when you have a question or comment. If you can’t readjust your style to match your boss’s, then have a conversation about how you can keep in touch with one another on both of your terms.
5. Present Yourself Well
It’s not just your behavior your boss will be analyzing — the way you present yourself at the office will also have a bearing on the way they feel about you. So, make the best impression by dressing the part. If your company has a dress code, adhere to it. And, even if casual’s the baseline, choose comfortable attire that still looks put together.
More importantly, though, try your best to connect with coworkers and forge friendships with your team. If the rest of the staff sees you as an easygoing, supportive, respectful and sociable employee, it will only improve your boss’s perception of you.
6. Give Suggestions
You might think your boss wants a team full of yes men and women — the more you agree to, the better. But honesty is always the best policy, especially in relationship-building. So, when your boss gives you the floor to provide your tips and suggestions, take advantage of it.
There’s a delicate balance to giving feedback, of course. You don’t want to overload your boss with compliments, nor do you want to rattle off a never-ending list of complaints. You should also choose the right time and place to offer your take. A friendly team lunch or casual group meeting isn’t the proper setting, for example.
7. Arrive Early
If you’ve been at your job for any length of time, you likely know your boss’s schedule as well as you know your own. Once you know what time they arrive in the morning, make a point to start your day a little bit before then. That way, your boss will come in and see you’re already there, hard at work.
This type of dependability and dedication will further improve your standing at the office. Your boss will appreciate the fact that you’re consistent and don’t need direction to start the day. Plus, you’ll be hard at work, which shows they don’t have to hit the ground running on their own — you’re there to lighten the load.
Become BFF With Your Boss
Maybe best friends is an overstatement, but these seven actions will only improve the relationship between you and your boss. They’ll see you’re a hardworking, dependable, well-liked and well-spoken member of the team. And that type of impression will take you far in this job – and the ones you secure down the line.
So, start building a bond with your boss today.
Soon, you’ll be an essential employee they know they can count on — and there’s no better boss-employee relationship than one that’s mutually beneficial.
Also published on Medium.