How to Make Sure Your Boss Knows Your Accomplishments
If every win and achievement takes place in a void where your manager never hears about it, your efforts won’t be taken into account when it comes time for a raise or promotion. Here are the steps you need to take to make sure your boss is aware of what you’re accomplishing for the company.
When a client, customer, or coworker emails you saying you did a good job, enjoy the glow. But you’ll get nothing beyond that glow if your boss doesn’t know. Edit the subject line to add your name and praise.
Start with a brief explanation like:
Bill Jones, one of our largest clients, really appreciated that I was able to help him solve an inventory and shipping issue that got him what he needed four days earlier than we’ve been able to deliver in the past. His email is below.
Ask the Client to Contact Your Manager
If you know the happy customer well, take a slightly different approach: Ask her to contact your boss directly.
A response like this works well:
I’m so glad I could bring you the outcome you wanted! If you don’t mind, could you email my boss: firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell him? He likes to know when we give our customers top service.
Thanks so much!
Take a semi-formal approach and go for an immediate one-on-one meeting with your boss. Make an outline of what you want to say. Cover how you solved a problem or achieved a new milestone, who benefited, and how. Note any cost or time savings to your company or the customer. If you have a complimentary email from the client, bring it. If your accomplishment involved landing a new client or increasing sales, list the benefits and potential annual sales and profits this new client or additional work will bring—good ammunition when you ask for a raise.
Make It Casual
If the issue is smaller or your office is more casual, take the elevator speech approach: When you run into your boss in the elevator or hallway, ask him if he has 90 seconds. Then give him a quick summary of your accomplishment.
Even if you take a casual or semi-formal approach to letting your boss know your big accomplishment, document your results in a folder for your performance appraisal.
Speaking of performance appraisals…
Go Formal: Save It for Your Performance Review
Some companies prefer to consolidate these kinds of discussions into regular performance reviews. If that’s the case, don’t wait until your one-on-one is imminent to write down the details. You may forget pertinent information or worse, forget the entire incident. Create a timeline of what happened, including the accomplishment or problem, your actions, and the outcome. If you have emails, sales results, or other supporting information, file it all together. Mark the file ‘Performance Evaluation’ so you’ll remember to review it before the meeting with your boss.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
If your accomplishment is visual—say you redesigned the workspace to become more efficient or you have a sales chart that clearly shows your results—take a photo and email or text it to your boss with a short caption such as, “Sales chart showing results before and after new Jones contract!”
It’s easy to feel a little awkward since we’re trained to avoid “bragging” about our accomplishments and triumphs, but your boss genuinely needs to know when goals are met or exceeded. Your boss is busy. She’s inundated with information, whether it’s communication from finance, sales, marketing, investors, or managers—there’s always something going on. You may believe she should notice when you’ve had an exciting win, but that’s not necessarily going to happen. Think of it this way: a win for you is a win for her. Take these steps, and you’ll be poised for a promotion and/or a raise.