How to show your boss how much you work (+ an email template)
Last updated on: June 14, 2022
Your latest project was extremely successful. You received positive feedback both from your client and your customers, so you shared the happy news with your coworkers. Yet, there’s one person in the company who you haven’t told about your accomplishments – your manager.
Now, it’s likely you don’t feel confident enough to talk to your boss about your accomplishments. If so, how do you keep your manager informed about what is being done in your work area?
This article brings you a solution for overcoming such a problem. Plus, you’ll learn how to show your value at work. We’ll discuss these points:
- how to make sure that you’re doing a good job, and
- how to present your achievements to your boss (at the meeting, by having a one-on-one conversation or by sending an email).
Table of Contents
How to make sure that you’re doing a good job at work?
Employees can choose to update their bosses on their progress for many reasons:
- They are overwhelmed with work and want to let their boss know that.
- They want to plan their future in the company.
- They want to ask for a raise or a promotion.
These are just some of the most common motives. Whatever your reason is, keep in mind that, before knocking on your boss’s office door, you need to make sure that you truly are doing a remarkable job. We bring you some practical tips that can help you enhance your performance:
- Provide high-quality work and keep track of your appraisals,
- show initiative,
- learn as much as you can from others,
- learn how to stand up for yourself,
- be confident,
- keep a work-life balance.
Provide high-quality work and keep track of your appraisals
It’s so important to remind yourself that, if you want your manager to value your work, it’s crucial that you focus on providing high-quality work. You need to put your heart and soul into your work and your tasks. This means working hard and collaborating with colleagues.
When you work relentlessly, you’ll show remarkable results. Thus, you’ll receive positive feedback from your team, manager, or your client.
So, a clever move would be to keep all these appraisals in one place. Then, when you decide to talk to your boss, you can bring these documents with you, as proof of your successful work.
In addition, you can include your team’s success as well. For example, create statistics or reports of your team results every three months or twice a year. This will show your commitment to the team.
Whenever you can, volunteer to do the task that you’ve never done, or to go the extra mile on the current project. By showing proactivity, your superiors will see you’re worthy of that position in the company.
Always be on time
You can be working from an office or remotely. Either way, remember to be punctual, especially if your work hours are fixed. Besides, start performing your daily tasks and on time, no matter if your work setting is at home or on-site.
In many organizations, workers are obliged to log in their work hours. That’s one more reason to follow the company’s ground rules regarding business hours.
Aside from time tracking apps, there’s another practical way for employers to keep a record of employee work hours – by using employee attendance tracker templates. Since workers have to fill out these templates, they will tend to lower their number of absences. Also, when reviewing employee attendance records, employers are able to analyze the overall productivity of each worker.
💡 If you want to learn more about measuring employee productivity, check out the blog post on this subject.
Learn as much as you can from others
Acquiring new skills and knowledge can only be beneficial for you, even though it sometimes seems irrelevant. So, during the brainstorming sessions or team meetings, listen carefully when your colleagues are speaking. The chances are that you’ll learn something new from your manager and your coworkers.
Aside from gaining new talents, remember to listen to your mentors. Since mentors have more experience than you, their advice and suggestions are extremely valuable.
Learn how to stand up for yourself
In the workplace, you need to learn how to stick up for yourself. If you have a solid reason for doing a task the way you’re doing, be ready to defend your ideas and beliefs if needed. So, when your boss is criticizing your ideas, don’t give up immediately. Be ready to support your opinions by giving clear explanations. Sometimes, your superiors are just testing you to see how enthusiastic you are and whether you’re prepared to protect your views.
If you feel that you lack confidence in the workplace, here’s what you can do:
- Find out what your strengths are and try to incorporate them into your daily activities.
- Find out what your weaknesses are and make a plan to minimize them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your colleagues.
- Be open to challenges. Even if you’re scared of taking a step into unknown territories, such as a new project, go for it. Use your strengths if you can and don’t compare yourself to other colleagues that are more experienced in that field.
By following these tips, you’ll soon have higher self-esteem. Now, how to be confident when talking to your boss about your accomplishments?
According to Rita Friedman, a certified career coach, being prepared is the best way to drum up some self-confidence in these situations.
“That time you spend considering what you do well and what you enjoy doing well – and building a list of achievements – should help remind you, too, that you do your job well. You might prefer to come up with a script or to just hash out some key talking points, but either way, going into the discussion with clear examples of your value will help anchor the conversation.”
Friedman also points out that you need to think about what you want to get out of the discussion:
- A raise
- A promotion
- New projects
Then, simply ask for it, she says.
“Practice asking for it. Practice leaving space for silence. Practice talking about yourself to a friend or record yourself and watch it. And wear your power clothes, even if you’re Zooming it in.“
So, you see, confidence is a skill that you can work on. Then, once you’ve acquired this talent, you’ll be able to talk to your boss with ease.
Keep a work-life balance
Having a work-life balance is crucial for your physical and mental health. By managing your workday well, you’ll be able to be a great worker and still go home after your work hours.
Try not to stay late at work if you don’t have to. If you happen to stay late sometimes, be sure to log in these hours with an overtime tracker.
How best to present your achievements to your boss?
If you’re not sure how to update your boss on progress and show your accomplishments, we recommend two methods:
- talking to your boss in person (during a one-on-one or a team meeting) and
- sending him/her an email.
Talking to your boss
If you decide to talk to your boss about your positive results, you can do it either during a team meeting or by having a one-on-one meeting with your manager.
If you opt for a team meeting
Rus Slater, an author of “The Management Coach” and other books, believes that employees should present their results during daily stand-up meetings. In fact, this is a common practice for his team, and they use a Slack channel for this purpose.
“Each day each team member (including the manager) posts two bulleted lists:
- what they did yesterday and
- what they are scheduled/ planning to do today.”
Slater claims that this is a great way to highlight your achievements, get timely support, and foster team spirit. Besides, this routine is handy for remote teams, too.
Yet, a team meeting won’t be a suitable solution for you if you want to discuss some personal issues with your boss. In that case, you better schedule a one-on-one meeting with your manager.
To sum up, you can update your boss on your progress daily during a team meeting. Remember to:
✔️ Briefly express your latest accomplishments.
✔️ Describe how you’re going to deal with your next tasks.
If you opt for a one-on-one meeting
Much like with a matter of confidence, Friedman emphasizes the importance of preparation here, as well. She says that, before having a conversation with your boss, you need to think about your achievements. Then, you need to decide which ones you want to be remembered for.
“As you talk to your boss, be sure to focus mostly on the things you did well and really enjoyed doing. While you might also want to bring up 1 or 2 accomplishments that served the company well but you’re not madly passionate about, you don’t want to have a conversation about the things you don’t want to be known for.”
Now, you might be wondering how to communicate these achievements. For Friedman, this depends on:
- the company culture,
- how hands-on your boss is, and
- what you hope to get out of the conversation.
She brings out three common reasons for talking to your boss and how to handle each one:
1. You want to talk about your future with the company:
“If you are trying to pull together a list of highlights for a rare conversation about your future with the company, it would probably look different than if you were having fairly regular conversations about what you’re doing independently.”
2. You want to talk about a raise or a promotion:
“If it’s a once-a-year raise or you’re asking for a promotion, maybe you do want an actual presentation with a slide deck that showcases quantifiable outcomes.”
3. You want to have a casual conversation so that you can demonstrate that you are hitting milestones.
To summarize, if you choose to talk to your manager face-to-face, here’s how to prepare for this occasion:
✔️ Think about what tasks you enjoyed doing – the ones you want to be remembered for.
✔️ Think about how you’ll present these results – this depends on the company culture and your boss’s character.
✔️ Think about your intentions – whether you want to ask your manager for a raise, a promotion, or you want to talk about your future steps in the company.
Sending an email to your boss
If you’d like to know how to present your achievements to your manager in an email, we suggest that you use the CAR method.
The CAR method focuses on three essential elements:
- C – the context,
- A – the actions, and
- R – the results.
So, if you want to try the CAR technique, you’ll first need to explain the context in which your actions happened. Then, what exactly these actions involved. Finally, describe the actual results that you achieved.
Aside from writing an email to your boss about work progress, the CAR method can also be handy when writing a cover letter or your positioning statement.
If you decide to use the CAR method, you can explain your achievements like a story. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when writing an email:
- Have I solved an important problem?
- Have I come up with a new idea?
- Have I helped my coworkers reach a decision or make a meaningful change?
- Have I enhanced an overall turnover or sales figures?
- Have I helped my colleagues fulfill their goals?
- Have I received an award?
These questions are your reminder to add the crucial results to your email.
Let’s take a look at the example below. Susan works as a social media manager in the ABC company and here’s how she represented her latest results to her boss, Steve.
If you’re looking for a sample on how to present your achievements to your manager, we hope you’ll find this template useful.
Here are some general tips you should have in mind when writing an email to the boss about work progress:
✔️ An email structure. Each paragraph of your email should be focused on one topic. For instance, in the Context section, explain only the context of your latest accomplishments.
✔️ Keep your email short and to the point. The purpose of this email is to briefly present your successful work.
✔️ If possible, use percentages and statistics. Otherwise, you should use qualitative achievement.
✔️ If your job position requires particular qualities, like teamwork, be sure to explain how you used this quality to complete a task. As you can see from our example above, Susan described how she worked together with the design team.
✔️ The tone of your message. If your boss uses formal language when communicating with the employees, you should also be formal in the email. Then again, if your boss encourages you to call him by his first name, as we see in the example email, feel free to be less formal.
So, you see, writing an email about your accomplishments is quite easy if you follow several crucial steps that we explained earlier.
Hard work should always be valued. But, what if your boss doesn’t even know how successful your latest project was? Then, it’s up to you to inform your manager.
You can present your achievements to your boss either by having a one-on-one conversation or during a team meeting. This approach is great if you prefer communicating with people face to face.
On the other hand, you may feel more comfortable expressing your thoughts by using written forms. In this case, send an email to your boss.
If you pick a live conversation with your manager, be sure to check out the expert tips we gathered in this article. Alternatively, if you pick an email, we recommend that you use our template. Good luck.