Community//

4 Ways To Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Boss

I was recently going through my email when I came across a story pitch for Boss’s Day on Oct. 16. The email made me think about what a challenging year it has been for everyone, and the impact those challenges have probably had on the employee/boss relationship. In normal circumstances it can be a challenge […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

I was recently going through my email when I came across a story pitch for Boss’s Day on Oct. 16. The email made me think about what a challenging year it has been for everyone, and the impact those challenges have probably had on the employee/boss relationship.

In normal circumstances it can be a challenge for employees to build a strong working relationship with their bosses, but when you throw in remote work and the changing office environment caused by COVID-19, it may seem like an almost impossible task.

I’m willing to bet there are many employees who didn’t put much focus on strengthening their relationships with their bosses in 2020. If you fall into this category don’t panic!

The good news is that no matter what your workplace situation is, I believe there are some universal steps employees can take to strengthen their relationships with their bosses, and these steps aren’t overly difficult, they just take a little initiative.

Here are four of those steps.

Discuss Your Career Plan

Schedule a time to have an open and honest conversation with your boss about your career plan. This conversation would include discussion about your current role, how you would like to grow in that role, and future aspirations at the company. Talk about your plans for accomplishing some of these goals, and then give your boss some time to give feedback.

This is an important discussion to have for multiple reasons. For one, it shows your boss that you’re really committed to the job. And second, it’s another way to get your boss invested in your career beyond the normal, everyday job responsibilities.

Set Up A Communication Plan

Some employees work very well on their own and need very little supervision. However, in any job there comes a point where you need guidance from your boss, or come across a decision that only your boss can make.

That’s why it’s important to set up a good communication plan with your boss that gives you guidance about the best times and best ways to reach them. Depending on the complexity of your job this could change on a weekly basis and include multiple meetings a week with your boss. 

The communication plan varies by situation, but the important thing is that you and your boss know how often you need to communicate and about what issues. This is especially important in a remote work environment, where it can be easy to lose touch with people if you’re not putting in the effort.

Be Open To Feedback

Don’t get too high when your boss gives you a compliment, but don’t get too low when they give you criticism. For most bosses, the goal of giving any feedback is to help employees grow. You want to put yourself in a position where you can show your boss that you welcome their feedback and are constantly learning and applying it.

Feedback is also another way to open the door to additional conversations with your boss, particularly when it comes to negative feedback. Never take an adversarial tone when discussing negative feedback, especially if you disagree with it. Instead, treat it like a conversation, and say to your boss that you don’t understand their point of view and that you would like some additional clarification so you can understand and apply what they’re saying.

Offer Value To Your Boss

The longer you work for a boss, the more you learn about their daily routine and job responsibilities. If there’s ever anything that you can do in your position to help your boss or take something off their plate, take advantage of that opportunity.

Some may view this as “kissing up,” but I view it as “managing up.” Taking on additional responsibilities is part of growing your career, and helping out a co-worker for the betterment of the team, is a characteristic of leadership. 

Don’t offer to help your boss at the expense of your actual job with the company. Only offer to help when you’re in position to give that help. Otherwise, then it may come across as “kissing up.”

Outside of helping out at work, offering value to your boss could be as simple as offering ideas or sharing an industry-related article with them.

The one thing all of these steps have in common is that they encourage multiple conversations with the boss. You don’t have to be best friends with your boss, but you shouldn’t go weeks without talking to them either.

Having some sort of consistent engagement with your boss is the key to building a strong relationship of trust with them.

Are You Looking To Make A Career Move?

My company, Work It Daily, has multiple one-day offerings for those who want to educate themselves on topics revolving around the job search for a low, one-time price.

Work It Daily offers job search summits, boot camps, masterclasses, and other special live streams. Check out Work It Daily’s Live Events Calendar to see what’s right for you! 

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, Oct. 22: Career Change Boot Camp

Wednesday, Oct. 28: Job Search Summit 

Check Out These FREE Career Resources

Job Search Checklist

Workplace Persona Quiz

Job Search Mistakes To Avoid

Signs Your Career Isn’t Recession Proof

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Signs That You’ve Got a Good Boss
Community//

20 Signs That You’ve Got a Good Boss

by Carolyn Steber
Courtesy of Chutima Chaochaiya/Shutterstock
Wisdom//

24 Signs You Have a Terrible Boss, and How to Stop Them From Crushing Your Happiness

by Shana Lebowitz, Allana Akhtar
professional women smiling
Community//

3 Keys To A Fulfilling Career, Even If You Have A Really Bad Boss

by Asia Bribiesca-Hedin, MBA, MPA

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.