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