Today is Boss's Day! While we should all be thankful for jobs and paychecks, it's really a made up holiday in an attempt to get us to spend money on our bosses. The reality is, presents should always flow down the hierarchy and never, ever up. Nevertheless, your boss may expect something today, so at the most, a "Happy Boss's Day!" card. If your boss is utterly fantastic, you can mean it.
Unfortunately, though, 87 percent of us have had a bad boss at some point, according to a new survey done by LaSalle Network, a staffing firm headquartered in Chicago. Now, of course, that doesn't mean 87 percent of us have a bad boss right now, but almost all of us have been there and done that. Here are additional findings about the impact of bad bosses:
- 51% of respondents said they quit the company because of the bad boss
- 83% of those who have quit because of a bad boss would have accepted an internal transfer at the company and report to someone else
- 55% of respondents did not report the bad boss to leadership
You can note what damage a bad boss can do to a company.
And just what are the characteristics of these bad bosses? The survey found:
- 27% - Never takes the blame, but first to take the credit
- 26% - Only notices negatives, never the positives
- 18% - Uncaring/not empathetic
- 16% - Doesn't acknowledge my hard work
- 15% - Not willing to help me learn
What if you're saddled with one of these bosses? Is there anything you can do besides quit or transfer out?
Krisi Rossi O'Donnell, Chief Recruiting Officer at LaSalle Network gave us some tips for working with someone who is less than stellar.
How do you work with a bad boss?
It's plain and simple. Execute what is on the to-do list that's given by your boss, or what you're committed to doing. If you do what they asked of you, then you will succeed. In this day and age with email, it's easier to document what you're asked of by your boss as opposed to 20 years ago when it was only verbal. Essentially, your job is to make your boss' life easier, help them meet their goals and become indispensable.
If you disagree with your boss that often, you have to ask yourself if you're working in the right job to begin with. If there's that big of a disconnect between what you think is right, and what your boss thinks is right then there are deeper issues. You can disagree as often as you want, but the question to ask is why are you disagreeing? On the flipside, if you don't like your job, but you like your boss, you're focusing on the wrong thing and need to find a job you love.
Here are different types of bosses (not necessarily all in the survey) and how employees can deal with them:
This type of boss is the easiest to manage. You understand exactly what the issue is and it's nothing pertaining to work ethic or favoritism, or any other ridiculous issue. All you have to do is understand the economic strategy and play within their rules. In all the lunacy out there, a cheap boss isn't all that bad. You see people who hate their bosses and waste endless amounts of supplies. So long as the cheap boss isn't breaking the law (i.e. not paying vacation days/jury duty), which would you rather have?
You have the opportunity to work around it. You just have to kill them with kindness. If a situation arises you have to deal with it, but when something happens to them, be compassionate and show you care. Whether it's sending a card, email or giving them a phone call, after months or years of doing this their walls will break down. If you love what you do, that investment is worth it.
If a boss' worst characteristic is being insensitive or uncaring, at least you know 1. Not to take it personally and 2. you're probably going to be judged fairly on work production. Many companies and managers separate personal and professional lives, and if you're looking for that balance, you're in the wrong job working for this type of boss in this type of company.
The High Maintenance Boss
In this day and age the expectation of responsiveness is greater than ever. Over communicate with this type of boss and let them know what you have going on so they feel up-to-date and don't need to reach out that often. Send this type of boss a short bulleted update on a weekly basis, whether they ask for it or not. You're simply staying a step ahead of their questions
If you currently have a bad boss, celebrate boss's day by following one of these tips. It may not make your boss better, but it will make it less stressful for you. That alone will make today a better day.