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Your Office Coach

Don’t expect a miracle fix for a slacker boss

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 Q: “My manager doesn’t seem to have enough to do. She works a lot less than anyone else in our department. She arrives half an hour late every day and usually leaves early. On top of that, she schedules all her personal appointments on company time, including haircuts and oil changes. Lately, she has begun ‘working from home,’ although no one else has this privilege.

“The rest of us are swamped with work, so her easy schedule really hurts morale. Her boss has no idea what she’s doing, because his office is in another part of the building. How can we let him know about this?” Fed Up Employees

A: Instead of going directly over your manager’s head, consider using human resources as an intermediary. First, document her comings and goings for a couple of weeks so that you can support your claims with data. Then go to HR as a group, calmly present the facts, and describe the business issues created by these absences. Explain that her boss appears to be unaware of the problem and ask the HR manager to talk with her.

However, you need to be realistic about the likely result of this intervention. Don’t expect the HR manager to react with outrage or immediately call your boss on the carpet. That’s simply not how these things work. Nor should you expect to be informed about any actions that are taken. You will just have to wait and see if the situation improves.

Of course, there's no guarantee that management will resolve this problem. But if no one brings it up, I can guarantee that they won’t.

Do you have a challenging manager? Perhaps this will help: Five Types of Difficult Bosses.

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