Another woman told me that she is looking for a new job. Why? She’s working for a difficult boss. This woman loves her job, is good at it and doesn’t want to leave. It doesn’t matter. She’s still looking to leave. I think she should do something else. If you love your job and work for a difficult boss, it may be time for you to implement a selling strategy so you get to keep your job.
One option to remedy a tough work environment is to complain to Human Resources. You tell the HR professional that your boss has a bad temper, antagonizes workers, or whatever the specific behavior is. What’s it get you? From what I’ve seen, unless the whole department complains, then it’s your word against your boss.
Then it gets even more dicey. When you complain you’ve now put management on notice. Management has to make a decision on who to back. Who are they going to side with? It’s probably not you. I’ve seen too many cases where management doesn’t want to admit that they made a mistake. You may get to keep your job, but you are now seen as a troublemaker.
I had this situation where I worked for a manager whose profanity-laced tirades were part of his communication strategy. His profanity was just the tip of the iceberg. His employee meetings were screamfests where he yelled at employees to get their attention. It was so bad I couldn’t eat my oatmeal for breakfast because my stomach was in knots.
Did I go to Human Resources? Sure did. Did I file a complaint? Nope. My company was in the midst of a reorganization and had new management. They didn’t know me. Even though I had a successful track record, I knew they would see me as a complainer and a problem employee.
You may have the same thought. Here’s what you can do instead.
Go to Human Resources. If you think you can’t file a complaint for company “political” reasons, go into sales mode. The art of selling is helping a customer to understand why they should buy. Your job is to “sell” human resources on the idea that they have a problem.
How do you do this? You ask questions. In sales, if you tell the customer the reasons to buy, then you own the issue and there’s usually no sale. If you ask questions and the customer tells you the reasons to buy, then he sells himself. When you go to Human Resources your job is to ask questions.
Start with asking about company policy. I should have asked, “Is it accepted company policy to have managers use profanity during business meetings?” I can’t imagine any company in America where that’s approved policy. I would have continued with, “What is a subordinate supposed to do when a manager holds meetings and screams at them for 45 minutes?” You might hear, you can file a complaint. Then ask, “What will happen to ensure that there will be no retaliation against me?”