Your boss runs the show in the workplace — assigning tasks, managing workloads and projects, troubleshooting, resolving conflict and keeping employees on track.
It’s not easy to maintain a productive work environment and keep operations running smoothly. Your boss (just like you) probably goes above and beyond and would really appreciate being recognized and thanked.
Showing appreciation improves your relationship with your boss and can have a positive result on your career path. Along with the tangible results of your work, you’ll need the boss’ support to secure a promotion, pay raise or referral. Networking and effective communication are key to your career, so keep this in mind and don’t forget to thank your boss.
You don’t have to go through some kind of extravagant production or buy fancy gifts to acknowledge your boss’ hard work. I spoke to human resources expert Laura MacLeod, founder and owner of the From The Inside Out Project, about how an employee’s small gestures can leave a lasting impression.
Her work is focused on strengthening relations between employees and employers, and she emphasizes that displays of appreciation are an essential part of such a relationship.
“There’s really no need to send flowers or buy a card,” said MacLeod. “You don’t have to grovel. Just do your job well and go a little bit beyond. Managers, supervisors and CEOs will really appreciate that.”
A few simple everyday actions will show your recognition and thanks:
1. Be on time
MacLeod recognizes that boss appreciation begins with timeliness. Be sure to set your alarm so that you arrive on time for work — and don’t hit that snooze button! From the time you arrive at your work station, be prepped and ready to go for a full work day. Arriving a few minutes early doesn’t hurt, as it ensures a strong start to your work day. Your boss will appreciate your punctuality and professionalism.
2. Offer to help out
Whether you volunteer to cover the shift or workload of an absent employee, stay late or work overtime, offer to help out. MacLeod often receives inquiries on whether employees should take on additional responsibilities, and her answer is always yes. Never shy away from an opportunity to assist by filling in for a co-worker. Think about what is best for the company and offer your support. Since this will take pressure off of your boss to fill in the gaps, it will be appreciated, and strongly remembered.
3. Never say it’s not your job
A common conflict that MacLeod encounters during From The Inside Out Project sessions stem from the four words that a boss never wants to hear, “That’s not my job.” If your boss asks you to do something that is not your job, strongly consider doing it anyway. Then (with a smile on your face) say you’re happy to help out. The boss will remember and appreciate the smile and willingness to go outside your job description when it was needed. If your schedule prevents you from helping out, she suggests letting your boss know that you regretfully cannot fit it in, but to keep you in mind for the next available opportunity to take on an additional task.
4. Always say thank you
We all learn this early on from our parents, but saying “thank you” will always matter, even in your professional life. If your boss commends you, gives you time off, lets it slide when you’re late or helps you out in any way, those two little words show a great appreciation. Through her extensive work in a variety of fields, MacLeod has learned that we all like to be appreciated and bosses are no exception. They like to know you are grateful for their kind words and actions, so remember what your parents taught you.
5. Be direct
A boss likes it when employees are honest about work. If you have a question, concern or even a reasonable complaint, let your boss know in a professional manner. Schedule an appointment to speak with your boss and be clear and honest. MacLeod’s work with the From The Inside Out Project places a strong emphasis on direct communication with all levels of employment. Businesses need to have proper communication to be successful and you need it for a successful career. Your direct approach will be appreciated, as bosses want and need to know what’s going on with their employees so they can do their best to improve or correct issues.
When you stop and think about everything your bosses have done, you realize that showing them appreciation is valuable. So, save the cake and presents and use courtesy to display your gratitude. This will ensure a healthy — and it’s free!