Lackadaisical manager takes credit for rest of staff's work

Q. I work for a manager who comes in at 7:45 and leaves at 4:30 sharp whenever he is here (which is not often), and he takes an hour lunch. He hogs the credit for our work, and he avoids responsibility. How do I keep a positive attitude toward my superior who keeps him around and gives him 17 percent raises when the rest of us receive no more than 10 percent? Is there hope that upper management will see his performance and finally take a stand?

A. Probably not, unless you take some decisive action. Left as is, my guess is the manager will continue to thrive at your expense. You can turn this dilemma to your advantage. Arrange a meeting with your superior and propose ideas to cut costs and raise productivity. Invite your manager so that he doesn’t feel you are acting behind his back.

In the meeting, pinpoint ways your company can operate more efficiently (that have nothing to do with your manager). Then outline some incentive programs your firm can launch to reward extraordinary performance, such as bonus payments for reducing waste or upgrading customer service. Discuss benchmarks and other objective measures that everyone agrees can be used to evaluate each employee’s contribution. If your company applies rigorous standards to everyone, including your manager—and rewards employees who excel—the facts will speak for themselves.