Have you ever stopped to consider, outside of annual performance review time, if you are meeting your boss’s expectations? Do you even know what those expectations are?
Here are 7 ways to ensure you meet and exceed your boss’s expectations:
1. Are you clear about what your boss expects of you? Understanding your job accountabilities and objectives, and especially the key drivers of success, are table stakes. Do you understand your boss’s informal unspoken expectations? Sometimes it’s as simple as asking your boss to clarify what he/she expects of you. Often, this information is gathered by listening to and observing your boss both one on one and in meetings. For example, your boss may have an expectation that members of the team will help each other without being asked. You do your own job exceptionally well while others on the team struggle to meet deadlines. At the end of the year you get an above average rating but get passed up for a promotion. Your boss may feel that you weren’t a team player or didn’t take initiative advancing the team’s goals.
2. Do you deliver projects on time and on budget? Regardless of whether or not you and your boss get along, at the end of the day, your performance is measured based on the results you deliver. At the forefront should be your commitment to deliver consistently strong results, meeting all your projects and tasks on time and on budget.
3. Do you keep your boss informed? How do you like to be caught off guard in a meeting or by your own boss? Your boss doesn’t like it either. Make sure your boss has all the information he/she needs to know. Keep your boss up to date on what you are working on, any challenges you are dealing with, and the many accomplishments you are achieving. Often we believe the boss knows just how much work we are doing behind the scenes to make a deadline or to finish a project. We can make it look so easy, and while that’s a good thing, making your boss aware of what is going on keeps him/her up to date and you valued for your efforts.
4. Do you present solutions or just the problems? When presenting issues and challenges to your boss for support and guidance, make sure you also present all your considerations, factors, risks as well as potential solutions and even a recommended course of action. Your boss will appreciate your ability to be proactive as well as your problem solving skills regardless of whether he/she chooses your recommended solution.
5. Does your boss count on you? Do you notice how your boss gets you to do things for him/her that he doesn’t ask your peers to do? That may be a sign that your boss feels he/she can rely on you to get the job done. Take it as a compliment rather than begrudge the extra work. Prove to your boss you can be counted on.
6. Does your boss trust you? Trust is something you want to develop right from the beginning of your relationship with your boss. Prove to your boss that you can be trusted. Guard information that is shared with you. Don’t resort to talking about your boss behind his/her back. It usually gets back to them and it rarely makes you look good.
7. Are you continuing to develop both personally and professionally? Doing the same job day in and day out may eventually make you a dinosaur. One way to stay current and relevant as an employee is to continue to develop your skills. Stay on top of what is happening in your industry by reading the paper, periodicals, or most recent books. Be aware of what is going on inside and outside your organization. Have an annual personal development plan that you work on throughout the year to strength your skills, develop or hone new skills, or to prepare you for the next job.
Meeting your boss’s expectations is key to maintaining a strong mutually beneficial relationship. It all starts with you!
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