Want a happy work life? Make sure you have a positive relationship with your boss. Piera Palazzolo, Senior Vice President of Dale Carnegie Training, says that an employee’s relationship with his or her direct supervisor is the most significant factor in determining that employee's level of engagement at work.
Here are some of the best ways to make sure your relationship with your boss is positive and productive:
1. Communicate the way your boss wants to
Everyone has a way they prefer to communicate. As an employee, it’s your job to find out how your boss communicates, and accommodate that style. Does your boss prefer phone conversations? Emails? Face-to-face interactions? Does your boss like to hear from you continually throughout the day, or are daily check-ins sufficient? If you and your boss are in sync with regard to communications, the opportunities for conflict are greatly diminished.
Just make sure you do communicate. It’s critical to keep your boss informed about the projects you’re working on and those you’ve completed. You should also reach out to your boss to see if there are any additional tasks you can help with, according to Monster.com.
Being proactive about communicating with your boss will help you become a better team member – one who is more motivated to work toward your company’s goals, according to Business.com.
2. Get to know your boss on a personal level
According to Palazzolo and LinkedIn Careers expert Nicole Williams, the relationship between boss and employee has transitioned over the past couple of decades, from rigidly hierarchical to a more collegial approach. Today, workers and their managers are more likely to get to know each other on a more personal level, which in turn leads to better teamwork.
Relating to your boss on a personal level may be difficult if your supervisor is accustomed to maintaining strictly professional relationships at work. Palazzolo and Williams suggest engaging such bosses through discussing past work experiences, until they are ready to talk about their personal lives. As with any relationship, Williams cautions that trying too hard to make your boss like you can instead push him or her away.
3. Work hard
It almost goes without saying, but working hard is the best way to keep your boss on your good side.
As Stephen Viscusi, author of On the Job: How to Make It in the Real World of Work, told Monster, bosses appreciate employees who demonstrate dedication to their jobs. When you work hard, your boss benefits – and feels like hiring you was a great idea. And that’s where a positive relationship begins.