Do you ever do any personal marketing? I mean the kind of ‘personal’ marketing where you’re selling yourself and your strengths to your boss or supervisor? Have you ever thought about the fact that you personally can do things to build your brand just like any other business does? All of us understand the importance of marketing our products and/or services and our company to the community around us, but we often forget or overlook the importance of marketing ourselves to the people we work for.
I believe one of the best ways anyone can market themselves to their boss is by simply showing gratitude and appreciation for the job they’ve been given. But exactly how do you say thank you to your boss without looking like a brown nose?
A lot of people have a different viewpoint on this, but no matter how much you debate the topic of showing gratitude to your employer, the truth is we should always show gratitude to those that help us. During my 25 plus years of working with employees, those that marketed themselves well. We’re viewed as an invaluable asset to the company. Here is my list of eight creative ways to say “thank you” to your boss. You may find these ideas helpful as you build your personal brand:
1. Show up. They were always there, at work, and rarely did they take a day off because of being sick. Though there were plenty of times when they had headaches or stomach bugs, or maybe they were tired from doing too much on the weekend, they never let it keep them away from their work. In fact, there some who had perfect attendance for many years. Now, you may think your boss doesn’t notice, but they do. “Being there” demonstrates your dependability and reliability, and it makes your boss’s job easier.
2. Be on time. Some make a habit of getting to work on time no matter what the weather was like or how much traffic there was. They just planned ahead. In fact, one of the best career tips I ever got was from a teacher in high school. She taught all of us that being on time meant arriving 5 to 7 minutes early and not flying in the door 5 seconds before the bell rang. And when someone used the train as an excuse for being late, she frankly said you need to learn the train schedule then. Frankly, as an employer, I am continually surprised year after year by how difficult it is for some employees to make it to work on time. This is an area where you can make a very positive impression, and it’s really easy to do. Being on time isn’t complicated. It just requires a different way of thinking. You honor your boss by showing up on time, and you make yourself look good in the process.
3. Buy them a can of pop. If you really want to freak out your boss the next time you walk by his office, poke your head in the door, smile, and say, “Hey, I’m on the way to the break room. Can I buy you a Coke or Pepsi?” If you know what kind of soda pop they drink, it’s even better just to buy it and drop it by their office.
4. Ask your boss the “most important question ever.” One question that impresses me the most is when I’m asked. Is there anything around here that needs to be done that nobody else wants to do?” That simple, but powerful question always — and I mean always — got our relationship off to a good start. You don’t have to be a new employee to ask your boss this question. You can ask it any time, and I would encourage you to just try it and watch what happens.
5. Say thank you on payday. It’s very easy to think of your paycheck as a type of entitlement because “you’ve earned it.” Of course, you have worked hard, but try to keep sight of the fact that payroll is probably the single largest expense at the company you work for. Sometimes, in smaller businesses that have less than 25 employees, it is not uncommon for the owner of the company to sometimes bypass paying themselves just to make sure that everybody else gets paid. I have discovered in my 25+ years in business that very few of my employees have ever said thank you on payday. I don’t feel badly when they don’t, but I’m always pleasantly surprised when they do. Going out of your way to say “thank you” on payday is a small way to express gratitude to your boss.
6. Quote your boss. If you’ve been in a situation where your boss has really helped you in some way, then don’t hesitate to quote him in situations where you can pass on the helpful concept to another coworker. So if he or she has helped you solve a problem and you are now demonstrating the solution to one of your coworkers, it’s a great idea to make sure you quote your boss. There are usually opportunities to do this in their presence or absence, and there is no harm in giving credit to those who deserve it.
7. Ask for advice. When you are facing a problem, don’t overlook going to your boss directly and asking for advice. Thank him or her for the help they have offered in the past and ask for the help again. Use this as an opportunity to thank your boss for something which they maybe did in the past. The fact that you remembered and brought it up shows kindness and respect. These are characteristics that bosses admire in employees and will remember the next time they have some plum assignment or an open spot somewhere else in the organization. It could result in a promotion or pay raise for you.
8. Be gentle when you quit. You have to understand that your boss may not be too happy when they hear you’re going to be leaving. One of the smartest things you can do if you quit your job is to thank your boss in personal communications or during your last public statements as you’re leaving. It’s not a time to brag it up among your coworkers about what a great new job and opportunity you have with your new employer. I actually went an extra step with all of my employers and tried to keep in touch with them — at least on a limited basis — after I’d left their employment. Today, everyone is so connected through social media like Facebook are LinkedIn, you never know where and how a good recommendation from a past employer will come in handy. Leaving on a positive note is good for everybody.
So there you have it: eight ways that to show appreciation to your employer. A thank you is not always necessarily shown or demonstrated simply by saying two words. There are many ways that you can show gratitude and appreciation to your boss. If you do it with sincerity, you will not only get noticed by your boss but, chances are, you’ll receive favor from him or her as well. You won’t be doing it to receive favor, but there’s a very good chance you will anyway. That’s why I call it marketing yourself… and building your brand.