Employment Expertise: 6 ways to deal with a bad boss


By West Michigan Works!


Not all bosses are created equal. If you have a difficult supervisor, here are some ways to cope:

  • Know their work habits. Do they like to communicate in person or via email? Do they need coffee right away? Adjust your work style accordingly to create a more pleasant work environment.
  • Do your job well. Increase your value as an employee by being productive and positive, even if your boss doesn’t seem to notice.
  • Be professional. Are you doing anything to contribute to the issues with your boss? Are you defensive in meetings or gossip with co-workers? If you don’t know, ask someone you trust for honest feedback.
  • Talk to your boss. Ask them to clarify expectations and priorities. Make sure to write them down so you and your boss can refer back to it.
  • Try to reach a compromise. If clarifying expectations doesn’t help the situation, set up a time with your boss to discuss the issues in an honest and respectful way. Think of solutions to suggest at the meeting.
  • If all else fails, talk to HR. If things still don’t change after meeting with your boss, talk with Human Resources. Remember to report any bullying or harassment immediately.

If your relationship with your boss is still unhealthy, consider joining a company with a better culture. When you’re happy in your job you’re more likely to succeed and grow.
Employment Expertise is provided by West Michigan Works! Learn more about how they can help: visit westmiworks.org or your local Service Center.