The most important person for you to impress is the individual who conducts your performance appraisal, which means your boss. This doesn’t mean you ignore co-workers, administrative staff, or your customer. Instead, you must be sure to understand the expectations set forth by your boss, and work diligently to accomplish them.
The most successful people in your company prioritize their activities based on the feedback from their managers. Avoid the guessing game. At your earliest convenience, schedule a meeting with your boss, and determine the activities that are most important to your department, and the organization. Once you have that information, you spend the majority of your time doing them well.
Here are three strategies to making a positive impression on your boss:
#1: Use Pareto’s 80/20 Law.
Most people spend their time performing the unimportant activities, which are known as “busy activities.” After the morning coffee, they check email, and respond to those that seem important. Once all the Inbox items show an unread status, most mediocre individuals work on other routine tasks, such as sending meeting invites, and updating a PowerPoint presentation. Before long, the morning is gone, and this routine is repeated in the afternoon.
The above situation describes Pareto’s Law, which states that most people spend 80% of their time on activities yielding just 20% of the results. The most effective approach is identifying the 20% of activities that result in 80% of the benefits, such as customer meetings, adding value to services, and improving quality.
#2: Complete assignments on time and to the specifications.
The most effective employees understand the importance of meeting deadlines. Working into the evening and on weekends is a no-brainer to them when a project must be done. Just as important, though, is the commitment to quality.
Before accepting an assignment, make sure you have the time to commit to it. If it’s a high-priority project, and your boss asks you to participate, accept the challenge. You will need to juggle your time between projects and day-to-day work, but that is the sign of an employee with tremendous promotion potential.
#3: Stop whining.
You will fail to impress your boss by constantly complaining about co-workers, the long hours you work, and anything else under the sun. It’s refreshing to work with employees who are focused on their work, and can balance their activities as projects are assigned. Not everyone can do this, but top-performers have developed the capability and capacity to excel in pressure-filled situations.
At times, it might be necessary to inform your manager how you plan to handle the additional work. “Dan, I’m assuming an important quality assurance role with Project SkyZone, and I wanted to let you know that I asked Martha to assist with a few tasks regarding Project India. I want to keep you in the loop to let you know that all work is covered.”
Impressing your boss is much easier than you think. However, the bottom line is to do your work on time and to the agreed quality standards. Just as important, top-notch employees resist the temptation to criticize, condemn, and complain.
Whether you like it or not, you are ultimately evaluated based on your ability to perform. A manager appreciates an employee who meets the requirements, regardless of the many obstacles that arise. In short, your success is based on performance, and not on why extraordinary events made you fall short of expectations.