I recently came across an article, online, that talked about how your very own boss can help make you happier at your job. In a nutshell, the article was about job seekers, who were surveyed, and ways that they felt that their bosses could help them achieve higher job satisfaction. The most common issues were identified and the author of the article provided tips on who to approach the issue with your boss.
I’ve been fortunate to have some pretty awesome bosses here at Eat’n Park whom have helped make me incredibly happy doing my job. I’m not just saying that because they are reading this post either (Hi Jana! Hi Kim!) – I’m making the statement because I mean it.
Before joining Eat’n Park, I also had some not so awesome bosses. However, I learned just as much from them as I did my awesome bosses. All of my experiences, good and bad, helped shape me into the manager that I wanted to be.
The article that I read got me thinking – I’ve had a pretty good career with Eat’n Park so far – are the tips that the author provides realistic? The following issues and tips are the ones that jumped out at me the most:
Issue: Career Advancement
How to Approach Your Boss: When it comes to career advancement, let your boss know that you want to acquire more skills through internal or external training. Research courses that will help your improve in your role or allow you to have more flexibility in moving up the corporate ladder. Typically, a company has money allotted for employee training, so it never hurts to ask. (Thompson, How Your Boss Can Help You Be Happier at Your Job).
Crystal Says: This tip is very realistic. For example, Eat’n Park provides training classes to it’s team members to help make them more effective and more educated when it comes to duties related with their position. You name it – we most likely have a training class for it. I’ve taken advantage of as many of the training classes as possible and it, for sure, has helped me advance my career. If there is a specific skill that you are looking to enhance or a specific skill that you are looking to learn? ASK your boss to teach it to you or point you in the direction of the person who can. It never hurts to take on additional job responsibilities to enhance your current skill set or to build it. You never know when opportunity may knock – so why not be ready for it.
Issue: Lack of Respect for Your Position
How to Approach Your Boss: Sometimes a boss, especially one who was never in your position, may not understand what you do or may think you can’t handle your tasks without supervision. To avoid a micromanager, be proactive in looping him in at every step along the way. Also be transparent about your tasks, and share your hurdles or successes so he is fully aware of the value you bring to the organization. (Thompson, How Your Boss Can Help You Be Happier at Your Job).
Crystal Says: I find this also to be very realistic. In addition to the above tip – I also learned very early on, during manager training with my Training General Manager, that ‘I don’t know’ is not an acceptable answer. Yes. There will be times where you really DON’T know the answer, but there are a lot better ways to say it. “I’m uncertain why X occurred, but let me look into it and I will follow up with you immediately.” Saying ‘I don’t know’ constantly can make it seem like you have no idea what’s going on around you and it can even make it appear that you don’t even really care. That can also attribute to lack of respect given to you. You don’t always need to know all of the answers, but you do need to know where to find them when someone asks.
Issue: You Boss Doesn’t Trust You or Let You Do Your Job Your Way
How to Approach Your Boss: If you have ideas on how you can be more effective or efficient at you job, present them to your boss. In most cases, you do have a choice in how to do your job, but unless you share your ideas with you boss, chances are he will have you do things his way. Meet to discuss what your manager’s expectations are and if success can still be achieved through your methods. Or consider meeting him halfway. By showing your boss that you can be successful doing things your way, your boss will become more trusting of your capabilities. (Thompson, How Your Boss Can Help You Be Happier at Your Job).
Crystal Says: Again, I find this to be very realistic advice, and good advice at that. I would like to add that if you do try things your way, and they don’t work out or cause a problem, OWN. IT. Take accountability for whatever happened and fix the problem right away. Then, brainstorm with your boss about what went right, what didn’t and how a similar situation can be avoided in the future. Chances are – your boss has some experience… and with experience comes a little bit of wisdom. Your boss is a great resource to have.
Until next time…
Thompson, J. (2012). How Your Boss Can Help You Be Happier at Your Job [Blog Post]. Retrieved from How Your Boss Can Help You Be Happier at Your Job