5 Strategies To Meet Your Boss’s Expectations For Quality Work This Year

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The Editors's picture
What the boss says is most annoying

Here are 5 strategies to help you get on the good side of your boss or manager starting off the year, and avoid the top ranking "most annoying behaviors" bosses see.

A new survey shows lacking attention to detail or sloppy work is the most annoying behavior to bosses, according to a release.

More than one-third (35 percent) of Chief Financial Officers cited lacking attention to detail or sloppy work as the most annoying behavior by coworkers, according to a new survey by staffing firm Accountemps.

For 28 percent of respondents, gossiping or engaging in office politics was their biggest pet peeve, marking a five percent increase from a similar survey in 2011.

What the boss says is most annoying

CFOs were asked, "Which one of the following coworker behaviors annoys you the most?" Their responses:

Lacking attention to detail or sloppy work


Gossiping or engaging in office politics


Missing deadlines


Being perpetually late


Presenting other's ideas as one's own





"Staff members shouldn't rely on others to catch their mistakes," Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps, said in the release. "Organizations benefit when employees slow down to review a project carefully before submitting because there is less need for revisions later and reduced risk that uncaught mistakes damage the companies' reputation.

“Hitting the 'pause button' also allows professionals to think about how they work, and whether there are better and more innovative approaches they can take," Driscoll said.

5 strategies to meet boss expectations for quality work

  1. Reduce distractions. Checking emails while proofreading a critical report or perusing social media while performing complicated calculations can lead to embarrassing mistakes. Set aside dedicated time to focus solely on a task, while avoiding outside "noise" like texts and emails.
  2. Simplify big projects. Large and complex assignments can be overwhelming — which can, in turn, lead to procrastination. In the mad dash to meet a deadline, mistakes can easily be made. Avoid this scenario by dividing work into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  3. Take a break. Spending long hours on the computer can be exhausting. A short pause during the workday or stepping out of the office can help give fresh perspective when returning later to the assignment.
  4. Enlist help from coworkers. Build time into the process for a trusted colleague to provide a "second pair of eyes" to check accuracy and work quality. Be sure to acknowledge that person's contributions and reciprocate in the future.
  5. Take time to assess expectations. Meet briefly with your manager at the start of a complex assignment to discuss goals and clarify any outstanding issues.

About the Research 
The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

About Accountemps 
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 325 offices worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company's blog, can be found at roberthalf.com/accountemps.

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