I recall a situation in which my boss told me the following: “Jimmie, I’ve known you to be a good employee. You work hard, and you have the skills to be a top worker here. However, in recent months, your performance has declined, and I’m unsure if I can assign you to a project team.”
No high-achiever wants to hear this from a manager. You want to be the “go-to” person on the team. When a key work assignment arises, you want to be on the list to assume it. Even if you do not have the bandwidth to take on more work, you want to be considered, or at least offered the opportunity.
Here are three strategies that can help you regain the confidence from your boss:
#1: Get your regular work done on time, and without seeking a pat on the back.
The fact is that no one, especially your boss, wants to hear the many hours that you put in over the weekend to complete an assignment. I understand that it’s admirable to go the extra mile, to put in more effort during the weekends and to make the necessary sacrifices to meet deadlines. However, for high-performers, doing more is standard operating procedure (SOP) and not an unusual activity.
Whether you like it or not, the bottom line is results. I had a client who would often say, “Don’t tell me about the labor pains. Just show me the baby! “ To get back on the good side, do good work on time and stay off the “screw-up” list. If you’re meeting expectations, your manager will know.
#2: Volunteer to help your team without seeking approval from the manager.
It’s unnecessary to email or call your manager to get approval to help a team member. You understand when a co-worker needs assistance, and there is no need to ask your manager if you can contribute. A leader doesn’t need approval.
Find out how you can help your team member, do the work, and get back to your normal activities. Your manager will soon learn that you exceeded expectations.
#3: Implement a best practice for your department.
I’m sure that you know of many deficiencies that exist in your department. Lean Management teaches the importance of creating more value to the customer by eliminating unnecessary steps or resources. In other words, you create a more efficient work environment.
If you work in a medical practice, for example, look for opportunities to improve patient satisfaction. You can suggest ideas that speed up the check-in process, or improve the insurance payment process by verifying the patient’s records. There are many ways to improve processes, and you have a golden opportunity to make a noticeable difference to your department and ultimately to the organization.
As stated earlier, there is no need to make big announcements when you have completed a task or a project. The subtle approach works best. The goal is to complete your work, help your team succeed, and stay off the radar.
Rest assured that good work never goes unnoticed. Before long, your boss will be looking for you to take on more responsibility. Once you show that you are capable of handling bigger assignments, your opportunities will increase. Remember that top-performers will keep the pace, constantly looking for ways to make a difference, even when their hard work is not immediately noticed.