6 Bosses Reveal What They Actually Notice About Their Employees

Whether you’re an engineer, waitress, editor, accountant or class instructor (if so, we envy you!), let’s face it—you rock at your job. You’re continuously on your manager’s list of top performers, and you’ve won more accolades than you can count.

Take a bow, girlfriend.

But regardless of the industry you’re in, there are several lingering habits and personal traits not related to our job we exude at work. And whether that habit is bolting out the front door the second your shift or workday ends, continually clicking out of Facebook each time your supervisor walks by, or just forgetting to submit your damn timesheet again (ugh, we feel you on this one), those seemingly insignificant actions are definitely catching your supervisor’s attention—and not in a good way.

According to the CEOs and managers we talked to, those minor actions have the potential to outweigh your accolades and thwart your potential raises and pay increases if you’re not careful. Here are six things your boss is definitely noticing about you at work, as told by top CEOs and business owners.  

You’re leaving the register a mess

Just because you’ve pushed way past your selling quota during your shift doesn’t mean you’re allowed to leave the cash register a mess for the next employee, according to Connie, marketing director for Island Spa & Sauna.

“I always notice the organization of an employee’s cash register after their shift,” she explains. “I can assess a person’s relationship with money and if they care about helping us grow as a business. For example, if I open the drawer and every single bill is upside down, backwards or is just plain sloppy, this tells me that the person doesn’t care about money, especially if it’s not theirs. They also are not thoughtful enough to organize the cash drawer for the next person.” Ouch.

To top it off, you’re probably the subject of more than a few hushed gossip convos among your fellow coworkers. Avoid the misery and take an extra two minutes after your shift to fold and arrange the cash properly.  

Your social intelligence is lackluster

While school is obviously for learning basic academic principles, it’s also a 12-year-long lesson in social learning that helps you be socially competent in the real world. Forget that second component to your schooling, and you could be in for a world of hurt in your current gig.

“Social intelligence is another trait I notice very much,” Dimitar Karaivanov, CEO or Kanbanize, says. “The way someone addresses their colleagues is very important. If a person constantly interrupts the surrounding people and cares little about their focus, there is little chance for her or him to advance in our company.”

To boot, those rude, condescending actions won’t help you make friends any faster.

They notice when you stay late, but it’s not exactly what you’re thinking

Regardless of the industry you’re in, staying late (assumingly) is one of the quickest ways to enhance your candidacy for a promotion, right? Well, not necessarily, although it could affect your job in ways you probably wouldn’t expect.

“I do notice when my team come in early and stay late,” explains Jodie Shaw, the chief marketing officer for The Alternative Board. “It definitely matters, but not in the way you might think. For me, if I have people on my team spending too much of their time at work, I see this as potentially a bad reflection on me as their leader. I know I get better work performance and loyalty from those who have good work/life balance. So if I see someone working excessive hours, it might be an indication of work overwhelm or problems outside of work.”

Although you have a responsibility to your boss to excel at your position, always remember that they have a responsibility to ensure you are happy, stimulated and enthusiastic. While the occasional late night at the office should be expected at any job, if you’re staying past nine each night of the week, that’s problematic.

You’re not as lightning-fast at clicking out of those windows as you think

Now more than ever before, you’re constantly surrounded by digital distractions at work. But while you might think that you’re clicking out of Facebook, Netflix or Buzzfeed like a ninja the second you sense your supervisor’s presence, we’re sorry to break it to you but, you’re not nearly as fast as you think.

“What I notice most about employees is their rate of click-out,” Bob Bentz, president of Advanced Telecom Services, says. “In other words, when I walk up to them, I notice how often are they doing something on their computer that is not work-related and suddenly ‘click out.’ I prefer them to be so busy that they don’t have time for checking their fantasy team.”

Rule of thumb? Limit your Facebook check-ins, sports score updates and cat videos to breaks or lunch.

Yes, your timesheets are actually really important.

Once five o’clock rolls around, you can already hear the dropping barbels at the CrossFit gym around the corner calling your name. But as you’re packing your things to bolt out of the door, your iPhone buzzes with one last email from your boss: “Don’t forget to fill out your timesheets!”

Ugh. It can wait until tomorrow, right? Sure. That is, if you want to quickly get on your supervisor’s bad side.

“When employees take the time to consider the small thing—updating to-do lists via Asana, signing on to meetings a few minutes early with a friendly chat hello, or updating timesheets—that tells me that they are engaged and care about the tasks at hand. Details like that are really important to me,” Katie Stanton, co-founder of The Good Lemon, says.

While updating your timesheets or actively updating statuses in project management software might seem like menial tasks, to the people charged with recording those times and making budgets, it’s a pretty big deal. Stay on your supervisor’s good side and habitually dedicate the last 10 minutes of your day to them.

When you’re in a good mood (even when you have a right to absolutely not be)

Misery, especially in the workplace, absolutely loves company. So when you’re able to rise above your sour-mood coworkers and put on a happy face (even when that doesn’t make sense), your boss will take note in the best way possible.

“The thing I notice and value the most in employees is when they are light-hearted and in a good mood even under high stress,” explains Alex Zatarain, co-founder and CMO at Eight. “A good mood and a positive attitude can save an employee from anything. If your colleagues know that you will always be positive and are pleasant to work with, then they will want to work with you. If you are not, people will avoid you.”

Yes, you have every right to be upset when something frustrating that’s out of your control happens at work. But so long as you save your ranting and frustration for after-work calls to your mom, you’ll stay in good graces with the boss

Julia Sullivan is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. When she's not picking heavy things up and setting them down again (more commonly known as weight lifting), trying to prepare healthy meals in her doll-sized Manhattan studio or writing about the latest fitness craze, she chronicles her zany adventures as a new New Yorker in her blog, Jules & the City. You can also follow her on Twitter.