Gallup’s most recent release of its ongoing research study “State of the American Workplace” finds that most workers point to their boss as the source of workplace dissatisfaction. This is hardly surprising given the pop-culture status of the bad boss. From television to movies, the bad boss is well represented. From Office Space to “The Office”, the bad boss is so bad he’s good. He’s legendary. In reality, however, a bad boss can be demoralizing. A bad boss can turn the job you love into the job you hate. So what do you do? Do you quit your job, or do you eliminate the problem at its source?
Getting your boss fired is not easy feat. In fact, the odds are against you. There is a real possibility that you will end up fired instead. With this in mind, proceed with caution and consider the following:
Psychology Today detailed the top reasons why people hate their boss and the associated bad boss flaws. What is it that your bad boss is doing? Is it illegal? Is he demeaning? Is he simply incompetent? Whatever category it falls into, log it. Note it. Be vocal. Write it down so that you have specific details. If possible, corroborate what happened with others. Your documentation serves as proof of your boss’s shortcomings and failures.
Strength in Numbers
Once you’ve documented your own experiences, you want to find others that share your frustration to document their own experiences. Talk to your coworkers. Encourage them to document their own incidents. Document group experiences and back one another up. When trumping management hierarchy, there’s strength in numbers. If you try to take on the boss alone, you may be seen as a renegade with a grudge.
A Bad Boss is Bad for Business
When bosses are bad, morale goes down. When morale goes down, so does performance. This means that a bad boss is bad for business. Your bad boss is hurting the company, and the issue needs to be addressed with relevant parties. Talk to HR if you feel comfortable doing so, or consider talking to your boss’s boss.
Communication is Key
Present your documentation and evidence from a place of concern. Be direct, but not accusatory. Explain how your boss’s behavior affects the workplace environment. Make your case in detail, be concise and offer up your evidence and documentation. Make sure your coworkers do the same. Offer up proof that your boss is a liability, not an asset.
Be Prepared for the Worst
If all your efforts fail to pay off and you just can’t shake your bad boss, consider your options. You can choose to stay at your current job, or you can choose to quit. You may also consider transferring to another department with a different boss. The choice is yours. In the meantime, there’s always the bad boss survival manual courtesy of Forbes to tide you over. Don’t let a bad boss stand in between you and workplace happiness, but if you decide to go into battle, be prepared for the worst.
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