Workplace success is strongly linked to your relationship with your supervisor. This is important for raises, development and advancement. Your supervisor has a significant role in each of those areas.
On the other side, the “boss” is one of the largest reasons employees change organizations. Thus, it is critical to optimize this working relationship.
There are three approaches you can employ to have an effective relationship with your supervisor:
1. Secure annual goals and expectations. This is a solid step to clearly understand the output your supervisor expects from you for the year. It provides you an opportunity to clarify these expectations, and determine the resources you’ll have to achieve the goals—human, financial, training, etc.
This also establishes the basis for future dialogue on performance throughout the year. The annual document becomes the standard for evaluation of your efforts.
2. Seek quarterly “pulse checks” on your performance. These meetings provide a basis for calibrating performance versus expectations. The objective is to determine if you are on track to meet your goals and modify behavior/actions/plans as needed to stay on track.
Quarterly meetings are spaced far enough apart to enable you to have meaningful discussion of performance. There are enough data points to highlight strengths and opportunities with sufficient examples of each.
Importantly, you should use this feedback to modify your performance as agreed. This approach will keep you aligned with your supervisor.
3. Lastly, provide monthly and/or weekly updates. The frequency of these updates varies on your role and relationship with your supervisor. The objective is to insure alignment on key projects and priorities.
One suggestion is one page document with three sections. In section one; provide highlights of accomplishments from the prior period. This enables your supervisor to learn of your recent accomplishments.
In section two, outline the projects and priority of those projects for the upcoming period. This provides your supervisor the opportunity to weigh in on your projects and the priorities. After the review, you should reach agreement on the priorities for the next period.
Finally, in section three, list areas where input is needed from your supervisor. This may include decisions required. The supervisor will now be aware of those needs. You may also be able to schedule time as needed.
Communicating with your supervisor and staying aligned can avoid gaps and increase the quality of your work experience.
Dwain Celistan is a retained executive recruiter, coach and speaker. He has authored “5 Simple Steps to Achieving Your Dreams” and “You’re Hired! Actions to Get and Keep the Job You Love”. Please contact Dwain either through email@example.com or 630-455-0172.