Communicate with the boss to get noticed
Most employees communicate with their bosses only when they have problems. While it is undoubtedly important to keep the lines of communication open in crisis situations, it is also necessary to communicate with your boss when things are going well. All too often, bosses are overwhelmed with their responsibilities and can lose sight of you in the shuffle. If you don’t want to be “just another employee,” then you need to make sure you maintain communication with your boss.
When bosses are aware of the specific responsibilities that you handle from day to day, they have a better appreciation of you. This allows them see the kinds of problems you can manage and gives them the opportunity to assess how well you are doing. If you only communicate with your superiors about your problems, it can create the impression that you aren’t doing too well. However, when you share your accomplishments and successes, you give your boss a chance to appreciate your work and to remember you in a positive light.
You may have a good deal of competition for the boss’s attention. Other employees, work obligations and responsibilities may limit the time you boss may have for you. You can still make yourself visible through means other than face-to-face talks. A very effective way to ensure your boss is kept up to date on your efforts and successes is to write him or her regular memos. This is not to suggest that you spend hours writing detailed reports – this may end up with your boss thinking that you are wasting your work time.
When sending a memo there are some guidelines to keep in mind:
■ Your memo must be worth reading. Don’t just write one without direction. Provide information the boss can use.
■ If you are sharing a problem offer a solution within your memo. Suggest a way to avoid the problem if possible.
■ Share good news. The boss likes good news, too. Let them know progress that is being made on a problem or goal.
■ Share other employees’ accomplishments. What a wonderful way to create a sense of good will and teamwork. Send a copy of the memo to the other employee. Not only will the other employee be grateful, it will also impress your boss.
■ Producing a meaningful memo is easiest if you keep notes for yourself. Jot down problems you have worked on and goals you have achieved. When you are comfortable with your accomplishments and ideas, send your memo.
■ Keep in mind not to overdo it. Don’t prepare pages of details nor send a memo every day. Learn to make your memos count. You must remind yourself that these memos are for your boss’ convenience. Show them you have respect for their time.
■ Remember, you keep your name in front of your boss when you send memos. Well-written timely memos create opportunities for further communication, which is the cornerstone of high visibility.