Boss’ bug bear: What you can do to win promotion or avoid a sacking

UK Bosses reveal shocking employee traits that can get you fired or get you closer to that pay rise

Ever wondered why the other guy got the promotion or why you got the sack? The last thing you want to do is get on nerves of your boss and miss out on that promotion. But what can be the difference between praise and a sacking?

This may be the long-awaited moment of truth. UK online printer, instantprint, conducted research in which 500 senior UK operatives were surveyed on things employees do that frustrates them as well as what impresses them.

First on the agenda is your outlook to work and life in general. Having a positive attitude to work was regarded as the best trait an employee can have. Approaching your tasks with a positive attitude and showing that you really care about what you are doing can go a long way to impressing the boss.

Being a cynical or pessimistic presence in the office was regarded a worse trait ahead of bad manners, poor hygiene and being disorganised!

Moving away from the attitude, appearance might not be such a big deal to modern bosses. Only two per cent of SME owners say dressing appropriately would get you on their good side.

Having a positive outlook towards your work can be compounded by a positive view of your own value to the company. Most (90 per cent) of respondents think they are generally popular in the workplace and 83 per cent think they are not a source of irritation to their employees!

Co-founder of instantprint, James Kinsella, says, ‘‘Having a great team is one of the most important business success factors and what’s more, they are the people you have to spend most of your life with.

“For most SME owners and managers, their business is a huge part of their life, so perhaps it doesn’t come as a surprise that attitude comes above everything else. When everyone is under pressure, positivity will always be appreciated, if not needed by managers.’’

Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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