How to tell if your boss likes you and wants you to stay?
Here are the signs you need to know:
Lola Salvador Akinwunmi
Career Strategist | Founder, LolaSal, Inc.
Most employees find themselves in situations where there is no camaraderie with their boss, so it’s always a welcome change when your boss likes you and the feeling is mutual.
However, it’s not always obvious that your boss likes you, so here are some signs to watch for:
They give time for great one-on-one sessions
Your boss schedules one-on-one sessions and these are productive meetings. You hear your boss talk about future goals and opportunities. Your boss listens and takes action on some of your discussion points.
Over time, you notice changes are being made based on feedback and outcome of some of these one-on-one sessions. There is an open line of communication between yourself and your boss. Communication is important in any relationship being successful.
They allow independent thinking
Your boss gives you autonomy and liberty to make decisions without having to check-in. He/she allows you to attend meetings on their behalf and isn’t micromanaging your work efforts.
They recognize your characteristics and strength as an employee
A great boss is attentive to his/her direct reports and knows their strengths and weaknesses. Your boss wants you to stay when he/she recognizes your area of strength and tailors assignments or projects to showcase your strengths and commends you.
They give pay raises
Another sign your boss wants you to stay, you get an excellent performance review and your pay raise commensurate with that feedback.
Senior Vice President, Nigel Frank International
If you’re looking for signs that your boss wants you to stay, then there’s a chance they might not want you to! That can boil down to having the right company culture in place—we always encourage our leaders to be hands-on with people and provide feedback; it’s the easiest way to ensure our staff knows we appreciate them.
They provide positive feedback
That includes the CEO of the company regularly being in touch with recruitment consultants to congratulate them personally on deals that they’ve made. Any good manager should be making their workforce feel valued through regular positive feedback.
They spend on your career development and training
There are plenty of signs beyond that, too. Is money being spent on your career development and training? Companies don’t tend to waste money on an employee they don’t see being part of their future, so if you feel like you’re stalling and have little support from higher up, it may be a sign that you aren’t valued as highly as you’d like.
One mistake I often see is employees not engaging properly during one-to-one meetings. This should be a chance to speak openly with your manager to get a clear idea of where you stand. Whether that’s areas for development or where you’re working well.
If this isn’t being fed back to you, you’re perfectly entitled to ask exactly where you stand and how they feel you’re performing. Take ownership of the situation and ask directly—it’s the easiest way to get a straight answer.
They will be willing to invest in your growth
Your boss will be willing to talk to you about your personal career goals and provide resources to help you achieve those goals. This includes training and development programs that will help you learn new skills and knowledge to make you a better employee and a better person. Being willing to invest in improving your ability to work shows they truly want you around for the long-term.
They will be transparent with long-term career opportunities and future promotions
They may even set up a personalized career pathway that lays everything out clearly so that you know what milestones you need to hit and aren’t left wondering when or how your next promotion will come.
They will value your input and guide your growth toward a role that suits you instead of making you conform to a position.
John Crossman, CCIM, CRX
CEO, Crossman & Company
They seek your opinion
When they consistently reach out to you on different topics and seek your feedback, they probably want you to stay.
They ask you to take on more responsibility
When the boss gives you more assignments, it is often a sign that they see potential in you and believe that you will get the job done.
They email you after hours
If the boss is emailing you after hours, it can be that they are thinking about you when you are not around. It can be a sign that they see leadership potential in you.
Founder, Origin Leadership
They communicate well with you
The signs that your boss wants you to stay could be obvious or subtle based on your leader’s personality, but it will always be noticeable in the way they communicate with you, both verbally and non-verbally.
Watch for cues like posture loosening up a bit or seeming to be relieved when you work together. Very often the topic of conversation will actually be about others instead of you. This is because your boss knows they can trust you and can use you for advice or just to vent!
They go easy on you sometimes
Your boss is also probably going to be easier (yes, easier) on you. You’re late, they make the excuse for you. You need off early, they don’t just say yes, they gush about how much you do for them or the team, then say yes. Like ya all, your boss will make it easy to see that they like you if you can analyze their communication with you.
Chantay Bridges, CNE, SRES
Coach | Realtor, Los Angeles Real Estate | Speaker | Writer
They begin to show you interest
At times you’ve wondered if they even knew your name, all of a sudden, they are going out of their way to interact, respond and involve you. Literally, they are inviting you into meetings you weren’t included in before. You are being called upon for feedback. Your name even came up as a possible contender for a new role. Out of nowhere, you are the most popular person in the room.
They reward you
You have been a committed employee for several months, even years yet little to no recognition at all. Yet, now, your employer wants to reward you. He or she is making sure the entire company is aware of all of your contributions, hard work, and sacrifice.
You are presented with very high honor and it’s done public for everyone to see. In a small amount of time, you are receiving reward, after reward.
They say it
You begin to hear that the boss wants you to say even though it has not been formalized. Person after person is in your ear letting you know, you are a favorite and the boss really thinks so.
Everywhere you go around the office, pretty much, you keep hearing the same thing. The boss likes you and would love to have you around for the long haul.
Insurance Agent | Founder, Carsurance
Things have massively changed when we consider the employee-employer relationship in the past decade. More and more companies are realizing the importance of employee retention and they actually came to their senses and figured out how much it cost to replace an employee.
That’s why most companies are aiming towards doing their best when it comes to keeping their employees stay. If you’re an employee doubting about whether is it the right time to change jobs, these signs will tell you your boss wants you to stay:
They are challenging you
Sometimes we might feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks our boss gives us to do. It can be that they are too complex, or deadlines are extremely short – whatever the case is you might be thinking that your boss hates you. Quite the contrary, it most probably means your boss is preparing you for something greater that’s yet to come.
Also, your boss wants to test your skills when you’re pressed both with the deadlines and difficulty of the task to know how much he or she can count on you.
They hold you responsible for more things than any other person from the team
You might feel it like a huge commitment, and you will get blamed a lot for the things you didn’t actually do simply because you’re in charge. However, you will be the leader of those project which is always a nice thing to put into your resume.
They check up on you
Employers know the importance of employee satisfaction when it comes to productivity, employee engagement, and retention. If your boss regularly asks about your well-being and it’s generally interested in how you feel, then he or she wants you to stay.
CMO, Good Life Home Loans
They don’t shy away from coming to you with new challenges
While it can be intimidating to take on more work, especially work that is more challenging in nature, it can be incredibly daunting. However, if a boss comes to you with something bigger and/or more challenging, that is a strong indicator that they trust you enough to get it done.
A boss will never put important work on to somebody they don’t want to stay because that would provide an incentive for them to stay (depending on the person and their future goals).
A boss will always value a hardworking and trustworthy employee, so when they come to you specifically with things that could lead to career growth for them, that means that not only do they trust you, but they truly care about your growth at the company.
More feedback or constructive criticism doesn’t always equal frustration
Getting feedback can be tough for your ego, but as you climb the company ladder, you begin to understand that feedback and constructive criticism means that the boss may think you are ready to advance to the next stage of your career by taking on more responsibility.
It’s important to distinguish between actual criticism that stems from frustration i.e. work that is lowering overall productivity, low-effort work, etc. Another important thing to take into consideration is that more feedback typically comes from the boss being more attentive to the work you’re doing.
If the boss wants you to stay, they will usually be sure to sprinkle praise or some positive feedback in with the more constructive feedback.
Ben Barrett, LLMSW, CAADC
Clinical Social Worker | Founder, The How to Social Worker | Addictions Professional
They try to find out about your aspirations in life
Every boss is different in how they reach out to a great employee who they suspect is looking for other opportunities. A good supervisor will do their homework and find out what you need in subtle ways. They will ask probing questions about your aspirations and about how happy you are. This may seem out of the ordinary if your performance evaluation is not due.
If the supervisor believes your search is due to a recent trend of high stress, they will sit you down and assess this with you. They likely will not come right out and ask you to stay, but they will give you credit for your hard work and put the focus on better times to come.
Inevitably, if you are an asset, your supervisor will attempt to retain you. If they don’t, you are making the right decision to change.
Chief Marketing Officer, Chanty
If the boss wants you to stay, it may or may not be obvious. Today, the cost of hiring is such that everyone wants to keep great performers on their team.
They will tell you directly
The first way they will let you know is – they will simply tell you without beating around the bush.
They praise your work
The second way they will show it is by praising your work, both publicly and privately. There is no better motivation to stay that having your good work praised.
They give you additional benefits
The third way is to give you some additional benefits. Whether it’s an extra day off, the ability to work remotely, a salary raise or something else, it’s a tell-tale sign that you’re doing great work and that you need to stay.
They give you a promotion
The final way is for the boss to give you a promotion into a role which is higher up in the company structure. They are telling you that they trust you with more responsibilities, and this is an obvious sign that the company needs you on their team.
They are asking you to teach or onboard employees
Essentially, this is one of the highest compliments your boss can pay you. While it may be tempting to consider this request a sign that you are going to be replaced in the near future, it’s more likely an indication that your boss is highly satisfied with your performance.
By asking you to train or onboard new employees, they are saying that they want you to teach your particular skill set and work ethic to new people. If management considered you a liability, it is highly unlikely your boss would ask this of you.
Business Consultant | CMO, Maple Holistics
They offer bonuses, business trips, and puts you in charge of projects
If you’re wondering what your place is at a job, look out for some guaranteed signs that your boss wants you to stay. For instance, if your boss offers you a raise or a bonus, you know that you’re doing well.
Similarly, if your boss sends you on a business trip, it’s a sign that the company values you, trusts you, and wants to invest in you. Lastly, if your boss continuously puts you in charge of projects or teams, it means that your boss relies on your quality work at the company.
Senior Digital Marketing Manager, English Blinds
If your boss wants you to stay, they’ll work hard to create a working environment that you want to be a part of and that gives you an incentive to want to remain there and not look around for alternative roles.
Here are some of the main signs that your boss wants you to stay:
- They’re quick to offer praise and positive feedback for your work and to reward you for a job well done.
- They provide careful and constructive criticisms which leaves you feeling positive about the whole process and respected and valued by your boss.
- They ask you how they can help you and support you to make your working day easier and take action when you tell them.
- They make sure that you know you can turn to them with any problems, and actively provide opportunities for you to speak freely with them.
- They are concerned about your work/life balance and don’t expect you to sacrifice your personal and social life to your career.
- They seek to improve your working conditions wherever possible; whether this is by means of providing you with a nicer office, a better view, a quieter workspace, or more comprehensive benefits.
- They recommend you for promotions and put you forward for tasks or projects that they know you will enjoy.
- They review your salary regularly and offer increases where possible.
- They are always willing to listen to your concerns or feedback, and actively solicit your advice and opinions on things – sometimes, even things above your paygrade or outside of the remit of your own working role.
- They rely upon you as an integral part of the team, and someone that they would not be able to function without.
- They may ask you outright about your future plans if you’re considering a move to another employer. You may be able to use this opportunity as a negotiating tactic to secure a raise or another advantage!