Let's talk about the Blue Whale in the room. Yes, the elephant left the room years ago.
Managers, supervisors, bosses, whatever you prefer to call them, are making a major impact on a company’s growth.
“In a 2017 Gallup Report, State of the American Workplace, it was revealed that a mere 21% of employees strongly agrees that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.”
If you are currently experiencing difficulties with your manager, all hope is not lost. Here are 5 examples of difficult managers and solutions that could benefit your situation.
The manager that doesn't have a clue on how to do their job. Matter of fact, you know more than they do. Not only is this individual unaware of how to manage properly, but they are also clueless about policies and procedures.
Be a team player. Offer your guidance as much as possible to increase understanding.
Don’t be afraid to speak up in a respectful and tactful way.
The Negative Nancy
The manager that gives you a negative evaluation without giving any indication they felt you were doing a horrible job. In a 2017 Gallup Report, it was discovered that many employees are not motivated to perform to their full potential due to these three factors:
Unclear and misaligned expectations
Ineffective and infrequent feedback
Unfair evaluation practices and misplaced accountability
This is a huge problem. I personally have experienced all three factors. It was especially difficult when expectations were not laid out or changed depending on the mood of my manager.
As uncomfortable as it might be for you, connect with your supervisor regularly (once a month or as often as needed) to ensure you understand their expectations as well as the overall expectation of the company.
Keep a detailed record of projects you have worked on, achievements, and awards that you can discuss during evaluation time.
Don’t rely only on face-to-face communication. Once you have connected with your supervisor, follow-up with an email with details of your meeting and thank them for their time and feedback.
The "By The Book"
The manager that wants to do everything by the book but "The Book" doesn't actually exist. Isn’t this frustrating?
Take the initiative and create “The Book” for your reference. This could also be useful for new employees joining the team.
Once again, verifying procedures via email will help you keep a record of any discrepancies in performance expectations
You know the one that checks the status of a project Monday afternoon when they just gave you the project Monday morning. How about the manager that always seems to walk by your desk when you are job hunting. Can you just let me find another job in peace?? In all seriousness, managers that micromanage can cause a decrease in productivity and overall morale.
Get clear on objectives and deadlines. Not just the deadline for completing the project or job but also deadlines for individual tasks. For example, if you are a contractor and your job is to renovate a kitchen, know when you are expected to complete the kitchen as well as when the demo should be complete, materials must be ordered, etc.
Be proactive and provide updates on your progress. While this might be annoying, this could help reduce the amount of time you are micromanaged.
The Empty Promiser
Let's not forget the manager that threatens your job every chance they get. This kind of manager can have you on edge daily. Going to work with the fear that you will lose your job can cause anxiety personally and professionally.
Again, get clear on your supervisor's expectations.
Find out what your supervisor feels you are doing incorrectly so you and address the issue immediately.
No matter what circumstances you are currently facing, remaining respectful and professional can prevent burnt bridges. This will also help if you get to a point where you need to look for another job. Building positive relationships with fellow colleagues and managers will provide good references. Instead of approaching the situation from a ‘right or wrong’ perspective, look at ways you can work together. Be part of the solution and not the problem.