To schedule Colleen, please call:
(971) 212-0479
in Portland, Oregon

Archive for what do bosses want from employees

What Do Bosses Want? Begin Work on Time

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Yesterday, I conducted a leadership seminar in Salem, Oregon, and the subject of “what do bosses want” came up. Not surprisingly, showing up on time was at the top of the list. Certainly, this depends on what type of job you perform. For example, salespeople and managers are frequently out in the field. Yet, for the person expected to report for work at a specific time, it can affect the morale of everyone if they’re late.

Let’s say that you have an upcoming meeting. Showing up on time needs to be your number one priority if you want to be considered a good employee–even if you’re in sales, work from home, and go out on sales calls. Based on my in-depth conversations with managers, supervisors, human resources personnel, and others in leadership positions over the years, attendance ranks number one when bosses consider whether an employee is a good worker. Many young workers right out of school think they should be judged by the work they do, not by what time they show up for work and leave at the end of the day. However, most managers consider attendance and punctuality to be major success factors.

Attendance also tops the list of criteria when bosses have to fire one employee or another. Included in this first ranking is a factor you might not realize. Do you actually start working on time? Believe me, your boss as well as co-workers notice if you walk in, go to the bathroom or break room, make coffee, chat up a storm, and then finally start working much later. Even if you’re productive, a lot of supervisors worry about starting your work late because of how it affects the morale of others. Some bosses believe if they make allowances for you in this area, they’ll have to make allowances for others. And they don’t want to do that.

What do bosses want? Make sure you show up on time. Like it or not, others are watching you!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and leadership expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and motivational speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs in 48 states and six countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and the book SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

A Portland, Oregon-based motivational speaker, Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (971)212-0479, or visiting

What do bosses want from employees? Team players! In conducting in-depth conversations with hundreds of managers, supervisors and CEOs, this is part 2 in a series.

Part 1 talked about how managers repeatedly asked for “someone who is a proactive problem solver, not reactive–an employee who thinks ahead.” In part 2, we’ll explore the importance of getting along with others in the workplace. Let’s get started!

Be a team player willing to help your co-workers and customers. Admittedly, while conducting these in-depth conversations,  it was a surprise to me that “team player” was specifically mentioned over and over and ranked as the second top trait or behavior bosses want. Obviously, productivity is an important reason for this, but the effect that being a team player has on the morale of others scored even higher than productivity.

Bosses overwhelmingly mentioned “willing to help others, anyone” in terms of sharing job knowledge, skills, and ideas as well as “willingness to help customers.”

Simply put–and this is repeated throughout many of my articles, books, and blog posts–managers don’t want to be bothered with emotional conflicts among their employees. They frequently report, “I feel like a referee and a babysitter and I don’t want that role. I want my employees getting along and resolving conflict themselves.”

Bosses consider good employees to be those who attempt to resolve issues on their own first without always running to the person in charge. When I’m speaking, I often ask managers and CEOs in my audience, “Do any of you feel like you’re running an adult day care?” They laugh and say, “Yes! You must know some of my employees!”

Many managers and supervisors get promoted to management or leadership positions based on their hard skills or technical skills. They (and maybe you) received a promotion because they did a great job. But in these areas, the skills that got them promoted aren’t always the ones they need to manage people. That’s why they don’t want to deal with issues such as conflicts between employees. Not only that, these managers and CEOs are overloaded with work themselves and don’t have time to deal with emotional problems between co-workers.

So, what do bosses want from employees? Team players, proactive problem solvers and more. Stay tuned!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen Kettenhofen is the author of the book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs.

As a Portland, Oregon-based motivational speaker, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and five countries. She has served as keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars. For more information, please visit