Most, but not all bosses want these 5 things from you. My suggestion is to find out:
What they are
Their priority, and
Samples of each
The reason is simple: Unless you know your boss’s expectations, you can’t achieve the results that are anticipated, planned or rewarded. The greater the differences between your boss’s expectations and your understanding of those expectations, the poorer your outcome.
Generally, there are 5 expectations from the boss. There may be more or less, which is why you need to ask. The only way to get the information is to discuss each item with your boss.
1. PERFORMANCE / RESULTS: If you can’t contribute to the results of the organization through your performance, you’ll soon be in jeopardy. You were hired to do a specific job. If you can’t do it, someone else will. Find out from your boss the difference between adequate performance and outstanding performance. If your boss can’t tell the difference, neither can you and your performance assessment will be totally subjective. Without objective measurement criteria, you have no way to define your contribution.
2. TEAM APPROACH / SUPPORT: Work teams produce greater results when they can operate as a unit, without major dissention among the participants. Few things irritate a boss more than squabbling employees. It’s distracting, time-consuming and counter-productive. Make sure you’re not the cause, but rather the unifier within the team structure.
3. LOYALTY / COMMITMENT: If you can’t commit to the objectives and strategies of your work unit, it’s very hard to hide. When those objectives and plans are being formed is the best time to offer alternatives or suggest better ways to get greater results at lower cost, not after the fact or during a setback along the way. An employee who says, “I told you so”, or “I always knew it wouldn’t work”, should not expect high praise.
4. INFORMATION / COMMUNICATIONS: A boss does not like surprises! Anything you can do to prepare the boss with new information about events within their responsibilities is always a good thing. Bosses are thankful when you can prevent a bad outcome. After a while, if your information is consistently helpful, the boss will lean upon you more and more as a conduit or information source. It’s a good way for you to become a “favorite”.
5. IDENTIFY / PROBLEM-SOLVE ISSUES: Once you have demonstrated the four elements above, you now have the credibility to help your boss in the most significant way: to identify issues preventing results, along with alternatives for their solution. Once you reach this stage, you become the most trusted and valuable employee. You will then become involved in many more areas of management within the function and positioned for additional responsibilities.
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