How to work effectively with a difficult boss


  • Home
  • Books
  • Discussion Forums
  • Articles
  • Useful Sites
  • Vault
  • Press Releases
  • RSS News Feed
  • Corporate Sponsors
  • FAQ
  • About Us
  • Contact
  • Privacy
  • Add to iFaves

    Key Books

    Coward's Guide to Conflict

    How to Work for an Idiot: Survive & Thrive-- Without Killing Your Boss

    How to Manage Your Boss: Developing the Perfect Working Relationship

    10 Things Employees Dislike Most about Their Employers

    Posted: 3/5/2007 6:03:02 PM

    10 Things Employees Dislike Most About Their Employers

    Our careers have a major impact in defining our lives. The average full-time employee spends close to 48 hours a week on the job, and it’s not always because they’re in love with what they do. There are a number of things employees dislike about their employers. Here are 10 of the most common.

    By Dr. Jan Stringer, Ph.D.

    Do you hate your job? Well, you have plenty of company.

    According to an August poll from the Pew Research Center, American workers are working longer hours for less pay and taking on higher levels of stress. The survey, which was conducted during the months of June and July and included 2,003 Americans, revealed that workers, especially older ones, were less satisfied about their jobs today than they were nearly two decades ago.

    In 1989, 43 percent of workers 50 and older said they were satisfied with their employer and work environment. In the recent poll, that number was down sharply to 30 percent. Meanwhile, younger workers were actually more satisfied in 2006 than in 1989. In the 18-29 category, the number jumped from 23 to 32 percent, while the 30-49 range showed a slight gain, going from 24-26 percent.

    The gap is likely explained by older workers being more pessimistic about the job market and threatened by globalization and lack of job security. Whatever the case, there are strong feelings from all age groups about the things employees dislike about their employers and what steps should be taken to resolve the common issues that have become entrenched in the worker-boss relationship. Meanwhile, consulting firms like Texas-based National Business Research Institute are helping companies uncover issues that impact their employees.

    “I think one of the things employees dislike the most is the lack of context that their employers provide,” said Heidi Gorman, CMO of Capital H Group. “By that I mean many employees do not get enough information from their employers to have answers to basic questions like, ‘What’s really expected of me?’, ‘How will my performance be judged?’ and ‘How does what I do, day-in-and-day-out, really help the overall company achieve its goals?’ It is important for all employees, regardless of what they do, to have these essential questions answered because it gives a sense of meaning to their work.”

    Having that sense of meaning is vital to any employee, and it all starts with addressing the issues workers have on the job. Here’s a look at 10 of the most recognized complaints employees have about their employers.

    1. Lack of Communication

    The biggest problem with any relationship is lack of communication. And that extends beyond the personal life and into the work life.

    The issue starts when employees avoid speaking forthright to their employers for fear of retribution. A valid feeling in many cases. But there are plenty of things employers can do to open the lines of communication, like making time for employees, giving feedback, listening closely, asking questions and above all else, not hiding in the office and directing traffic solely through emails.

    “Poor communication is a big problem in the workplace,” said Tonya Slawinski, a Ph.D and president of Supportive Solutions, Inc., a crisis response service for businesses. “Communication is an ongoing process rather than a static event. Employees generally have a high tolerance for change if kept in the loop. When communication breaks down, rumors run rampant and will directly impact productivity, focus and ultimately the finances of the company.”

    2. Unfair Pay

    It’s hard to find an employee who thinks they make too much money. So the best employers can do is live up to fair-wage standards.

    Retail giant Wal-Mart has taken heat from all angles for paying unfair wages and benefits to its employees, while reaping enormous profits. It’s a formula that raises the ire of politicians, advocates and the public, but is cheered on Wall Street.

    The bottom line is that complaining about salary, in most cases, won’t increase a worker’s wage. What employees can do to boost their paychecks is emphasize their experience, improve their education, point out positive performance reviews, work less desirable but higher paying shifts, and exemplify successes.

    3. No Job Security

    With outsourcing, downsizing, globalization and pressure to meet the bottom line, job security has become a scarce commodity. A substantial amount of employees have been made to feel as valuable to the company as a paper clip. Therefore, the backlash has been that workers are changing jobs at a clip of every three years.

    “Changing jobs has become a way of life in today’s workforce,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said during a March speech in Washington. “The average American will have had 10 jobs between the ages of 18 and 38. Every year, about one-third of our workforce changes jobs, largely to take advantage of better opportunities.”

    4. Under Appreciation

    When employees don’t feel appreciated, the stress it creates can have a fatal blow to a company’s productivity and bottom line. There are several ways to display appreciation, but the simplest ones are sometimes all that’s necessary. “Nothing says, ‘We don't appreciate you’ more than when your employee has worked like crazy to finish the project and you reward them by adding more to their plate,” said Joe Folan, Marketing Manager of, an Atlanta-based job recruiter. “You would be surprised how a half-day on Friday to begin the weekend can be greatly appreciated.”

    5. Favoritism

    Anytime someone receives special treatment at work, it’s bound to ruffle the feathers of fellow employees. Whether it’s more money, an undeserved promotion, or a better schedule, favoritism by an employer can be a destructive force to morale. When “who you know” becomes a blatant reason for advancement or preferential treatment, employees often find it tough to swallow this bitter pill.

    6. Overworked

    If you’ve never felt overworked at one time in your career, you probably don’t have a pulse. Aside from not getting paid enough, this is probably the most common complaint employees have – whether it’s true or not. And it certainly can have more impact than getting a hundred bucks less in your paycheck every week. The toll on overworked employees can include fatigue, irritability, weight gain, insomnia, and a whole host of other physical and mental ailments.

    7. Micromanagement

    Everyone’s had the micromanaging boss breathing down their neck. The boss that’s involved is great. The one who’s over-involved can be a nightmare. The micromanager shows little trust in employees and robs them of the ability to do their job. Micromanagers usually have an obsessive-compulsive behavior and fear if they don’t stay on top of an employee, then their job is on the line. The only real way to stop an employer from micromanaging is to tell them that you can produce better results if given the freedom to do so. Of course, that conversation has to be polite and tactful.

    8. Incompetent Managers

    There’s at least one in every company. The man or woman who people shake their head at and ask, “How in the world did they get that job?” Thousands of unqualified bosses slip up the ranks and into positions they have no right to hold. It’s just part of the work life, and it aggravates the heck out of employees. There’s not a lot workers can do if they’re under the thumb of a bumbling boss, so turn the situation around. If the boss is no good, it gives the employee a better chance to stand out and score major bonus points with senior management.

    9. No Opportunity for Advancement

    Finding yourself with a ceiling over your career is not a good place for an employee to be in. The first step is taking an honest look at the situation and listing the reasons you’re not getting promoted. If an employee feels they’re qualified and constantly getting passed up for a promotion, take the initiative, get yourself noticed and learn what’s needed to be considered for the job. It may be the simple fact that there are no positions to move up into. And if that drags on for years, it may be time to move on to another company or line of work.

    10. Overbearing Boss

    The nasty, overbearing boss is probably the biggest cliché of any workplace. The evil supervisor is constantly being represented on the small and big screen, including the recent film, ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ where Meryl Streep portrayed the ruthless and cynical magazine editor, Miranda Priestly. But for a lot of unfortunate employees, the miserly boss isn’t Hollywood fiction. It’s a reality that workers have to face and deal with. Employees should take on bad boss behavior by one, making sure they’re doing things right; two, documenting bad behavior; three, finding a mentor within the company to confide in; and four, if all else fails, report the ogre to a supervisor or the human resources department.

    Link (

    Email Link  |  iFaveIt

    Comments: [add a comment]

    User: anonymous
    Date: 3/22/2007 6:02:00 AM

    All good observations -- but very little satisfaction. My state employer has nothing in place to deal with hostile workplace situations. I have been given verbal reassurance that I am protected, but received a bad performance review by the person against whom I filed the complaint with no acknowledgement that perhaps this is inappropriate. The expectation is for me to just "suck it up" and move on. I feel so powerless and trapped. My boss is savvy enough not to use any language that would be a civil rights violation, yet the impact to my work environment is the same. Thank you for providing a venue for folks who have been victimized in this way. When I can't sleep because of the stress, it's reassuring to know I'm not alone.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 4/7/2007 12:13:00 PM

    What are you going to do when your boss makes comments to you about your age, makes false accusations against you, demotes you and your new supervisor insists you do something that isn't safe? Which is WHY your previous supervisor made the false accusations in the first place.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 5/7/2007 6:14:00 AM

    hide his papers steal his reports destroy his harddisk mail from hos PC with dirty content and so on

    User: anonymous
    Date: 10/24/2007 3:05:00 PM

    After being told there would be more layoffs possibly, I asked if I was one, being an advanced Field Tech, with diagnostic experience. On Monday I got a call from the office manager to return my service truck immediately. I let her know that I had to go home and remove all tools that belonged to me, and then I would have the truck back in by 5pm, which I did. I also returned my uniforms, phone charger etc. Everything I was given at the time. I fortunately had another job lined out only to find out that someone in the office where I had worked, had started a rumor that I had not been able to be located for over a week, which is untrue, since I was in constant contact with the office and even spoke to the owners on the job sites. Due to the rumor that was told after my references were checked, I lost the job I had been told was 100% waiting for me. I do not understand that as an employee we must give a two week notice yet the employer doesn't have the guts to face us directly. I am in the process of filing charges! I have over 30 years experience in the Technical Mechanic Field w/ a vocational background. I'm tired of bosses who think they can play GOD with other's lives. Bosses do not follow through on their promises. They are hateful and use others to accomplish what they should do themselves!

    User: anonymous
    Date: 7/17/2008 3:37:00 AM

    no.2 unfair pay - do more work and add more stress for the same pay with a hope that you will get more pay - dream on. Bosses wised up to that trick long ago. It seems to me that most bosses would rather take on a young inexperienced college or school leaver and work them till they burn out on insultingly low wages, at least in my profession - graphic design in the UK. The only way to escape this nightmare is to learn a trade of some sort and become self employed, this way YOU are in control of your working life.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 8/5/2008 10:56:00 PM

    I LOVE my Job.... but my boss recently retired and a new executive director was hired. He is not only imcompetent but he actually took a project that I created and changed the heading replacing my name with his. I guess he needs his ego stroked... but I still feel agry about this... any comments?

    User: anonymous
    Date: 9/18/2008 5:17:00 AM

    No you are not alone, I trained this kid that suddenly makes about 20% more than me, I don't even know if this is legal and he doesn't even come close to my abilities and experience, I guess is because he has a brown nose

    User: js33
    Date: 2/22/2010 8:55:00 PM

    I know how everyone feels. I work for a boss who fits everything that has been said. Unfortunatly she is there to stay; because the boss above her is just like her.

    To reply to this topic or add a comment, just complete our 20-second registration process which is free and confidential. If you have already registered, you need to log in.


    Have you ever quit or changed positions because of your boss?
    Three times
    More than 3 times

    [view responses]


    Registration is confidential, free, and has a number of benefits.

    User: PW:
    RegisterLost password


    Advanced Search

    Popular Items

    Corporate Sponsors is completely free for both individual and corporate use. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available.

    Copyright © 2007 The CMR Group. All Rights Reserved.
    No part of this site may be copied or reused without express written permission.
    All trademarks are properties of their respective owners. Privacy policy.