Now that you have been promoted, have your dream job and are sleeping easier knowing that your job is secure, this article is for you. As an employee and a manager I have had the opportunity to sit on both sides of the table, and I am acutely aware of how both sides work.
I made many mistakes as an employee that at the time seemed perfectly fine but as a manager looking back seem incredibly stupid and irresponsible. I now manage a branch for one of the largest distributors of dental supplies and dental equipment in North America and I see many of the same mistakes being made by my employees. The purpose of this article is to take a step back and help you see yourself through the eyes of your supervisor and share with you what I have learned.
Here are a seven things you’re doing wrong at work.
I’m too busy
Demonstrating that you are always busy to your supervisor can also indicate that you are ineffective as an employee. What supervisors really want is employees who can get the job done without struggling. You may be reminding everyone that you are a bad time manager or that you are no good solving problems on your own.
It’s not my fault
When things go wrong, blame is deflected faster than roaches looking for cover in the daylight. Employees who never own up to the mistakes they make can never be coached on how to avoid them in the future, and are therefore doomed to repeat them. Supervisors intuitively know exactly who is responsible for mistakes within their organization, and by deflecting blame, you are just indicating that you are not on the same team.
I’m on the clock
Employees who intentionally milk the clock or add time to their weekly hours may think they are being clever and have found a way to put a few extra dollars in their pocket. What they are really indicating is that they need to be micro-managed every minute in order to keep payroll costs from spiraling out of control.
Me against you
Some employees see their supervisors as the enemy and feel they need to try to outsmart their boss. In reality, good supervisors work to help their employees – solving problems and helping them to reach their goals. Putting yourself at odds with the one person who processes your paycheck is never a good idea.
The letter of the law
There is always one employee who knows every company regulation, mandate and procedural policy and unrelentingly enforces them no matter what the circumstances are. Chances are that your supervisor is not a lawyer and he may be more concerned with hitting sales goals so you get a bonus at the end of the year than enforcing the letter of the law. This can make your boss feel as if he is walking on eggshells around you and that he constantly needs to be aware of policy 4, page 3, paragraph 2. Lighten up. If mistakes are made, talk through them, come up with a solution, and move on.
I’m OK where I’m at
It’s your right to decide whether you want to be a ladder climber or just the guy who does what he is asked and no more. I can tell you that running a business is grueling, and sometimes supervisors look at employees and think they are the smart ones and he’s the idiot for being in charge and trying to grow the business. Employers will respect your right to choose to be content or motivated, but they will also think, “Damn, I really need to find someone who wants to move forward with the business.”
A constant soap opera
We have all experienced tragedy in our lives, and good supervisors will recognize when this happens with their employees and make every effort to comfort them. It is the employee who constantly comes to work under tragic circumstances who eventually gets alienated. Supervisors and co-workers alike will start to avoid you for fear of being sucked into a never-ending eddy of despair from which there is no escape.
Any one of these things could put you in a situation with your current job where you are unable to advance or could even get you fired. Take a look at yourself and try to see how you appear in the eyes of your employer. The goal here is to raise your awareness and, if necessary, for you to be able to make meaningful changes that matter to your employer.