What do you do if you hate your boss?
If you’re less than satisfied with your boss, no matter how much you may otherwise love your job, you’re not alone. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, which analyzed survey responses from more than 195,600 U.S. employees, only 33 percent were engaged in their work and workplace. Only 21 percent said their job performance is managed in a way that makes them want to do outstanding work, and more than half (51 percent, in fact) were actively searching for a new job or watching for job openings. Dissatisfaction with their manager or management were frequently cited as their primary motivation for leaving.
A 2015 survey of 400 U.S. employees by TINYpulse delved even deeper into the ‘bad boss’ conundrum. Upon examining the data, the survey’s analysts found that a manager’s lack of respect for his/her employees’ work and ideas significantly increases the likelihood that those employees will look for new jobs. Micromanagement, lack of transparency, and a failure to set clear goals for staff also leads them to seek greener pastures.
So, what can you do if you find yourself working at a hotel, resort, restaurant or other hospitality establishment under a boss you absolutely despise? We suggest working your way through the following options before jumping ship.
Try a little empathy. Bad bosses aren’t necessarily bad people. Perhaps yours is currently going through a particularly stressful period, which is affecting his attitude and behavior towards others. Before you approach human resources or quit your job, try to figure out the why behind his negative actions. A little empathy may unearth an understandable reason for his or her current short fallings. If so, give them time to revert to normal or reveal thier true management nature before you take any irreversible actions.
Take a closer look at yourself. While it’s possible you’ve been doing everything right, it doesn’t hurt to review your job performance and recent interactions with your boss to make sure you haven’t contributed to the problem in some previously unrealized way. Have you been overzealous in your pursuit of new responsibilities? Have you made mistakes you haven’t apologized for? Do you have a reputation for complaining or disregarding feedback? If you identify any issues that may be making the relationship difficult, take steps to remedy them.
Carefully blow off steam. Don’t unload your frustrations on your coworkers. Not only will this make you appear unprofessional, but your complaints could be overheard. You should also never air your grievances in a Facebook post or Tweet. Instead, if you must get something off your chest, do so with a non-workplace friend or a family member after hours. You may also find it helpful to keep a written log of the issues you’ve encountered. This will give you a chance to vent your feelings and can also serve as a reference should you decide a formal confrontation is warranted.
Ask for a private meeting. If you’ve determined you’re without blame and your empathetic wait-and-see approach has not yielded positive results, it might be time to speak to your boss in person and lay out your concerns. There’s always a chance he or she is not even aware of their behavior’s effects you and will be quick to offer an apology. If not, you’ll still be opening up lines of communication – a necessary step if either of you needs to make changes.
Enlist your coworkers. While you can learn to ignore the bad habits of a boss who is merely annoying or incompetent – especially if you otherwise love your job – those who are abusive, discriminatory, harassing or otherwise breaking employment laws should be reported. Because complaints to HR or other hospitality executives are more likely to be taken seriously when made by multiple staff members, you may want to consult with your coworkers quietly and privately, and collect all the evidence, before you lodge a formal grievance.
Bide your time. Whether HR ignores your concerns or your boss refuses to change, don’t quit your position until you have another job lined up if you want to prevent potential employers from viewing your resignation as a red flag. Instead, find time to update your resume and start networking. You can then dedicate time before or after work each day to apply for the latest positions that suit you.
Choose your next boss carefully. To avoid winding up in a similar situation with your next employer, make sure you ask plenty of questions during the interview process, such as "how would you describe your management style," "why is this position available?" or "what could the last employee in this position have done to be more successful?"
Additionally, try to befriend one or two employees who work beneath your future manager before you accept the job. This is a great way to get the inside scoop.