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It definitely helps to have your boss notice when you are doing a great job. The acknowledgment is professionally satisfying. Plus, your boss's awareness of your talents can translate into keeping you around – or even a raise or promotion. Draw your boss’s attention without appearing needy or showy. Help her connect the dots beyond your ability to meet the immediate tasks at hand to your long-term value for the company.
Invite Your Boss to Participate in an Activity
While you may answer to a boss, in some work situations your day-to-day reality leaves the two of you in separate places. An example is a traveling sales person who is initially trained by a superior and then works alone in the field to meet a weekly sales quota. Invite your boss along for a presentation, or two, to allow him to observe your great work firsthand. State in advance that you have had an uptick of rewarding experiences in the field -- and would like him to join you to identify how to build on these opportunities in other sales areas. In this way, you are positively framing your boss’s observations without seeming like you are self-serving.
Create an Avenue for Customer Feedback
Another way to make your boss aware of a job well done is to have it come from customers’ mouths. Approach your boss to see if she would be open to feedback from clients via an informal survey or something as simple as a “feedback box.” This strategy works very well if you have a specific area of responsibility in your organization -- such as front desk reception -- that cannot be confused with another employee’s charge. Objective, continual and specific feedback from customers will communicate more than you ever could in a one-time conversation.
Discuss Your Performance against Preset Goals
Positively affect the boss’s perception of your work by compiling data about your performance against existing goals. Log the outcomes of your work if they are mostly measurable and organize findings into a simple table, graph or chart. Share your progress during one-on-one status checks with your boss – perhaps on a monthly or quarterly basis. Discuss these results in terms of goals that either he has set for you or you have independently set for yourself. For example: “The revenue generated from clicks on online ads has exceeded projections for this quarter. I think this is a good development that we can build on as we make estimates going forward.”
Anticipate and Respond to Your Boss’s Needs
Getting the boss to notice your great work is about standing out from the rest of the pack. Most employees act in response to a supervisor’s request, but very few anticipate needs and proactively respond to them. For instance, if you are attending a meeting with your boss, fully prepare in advance. Be ready to answer questions about logistics, summarize background documents or contribute ideas about strategy. Identify problems in your department before they arise. Offer solutions and eagerly offer a helping hand as your boss resolves them. Instead of doing the math for your boss when it comes to how well you do your job, your novelty will cause her to arrive at this conclusion on her own.
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Kenya Lucas has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in “Anthropology & Medicine,” “New Directions for Evaluation,” “Psychology of Women Quarterly” and “Journal of the Grant Professionals Association.” She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Brown University.
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