Stop The Blame Drain.
A recent article on employee engagement declared: “Not Enough Employee Engagement? Blame Your Boss.”
Poor drainage. Are you caught in the employee engagement blame drain.
Low IQ. Wally Bock, a blogger I admire very much, wrote the article at Human Resources IQ. I hated the title (Wally did not write the title) and liked the article: Not Enough Employee Engagement? Blame Your Boss.
Training, support, and development. I appreciated how Wally concluded the article:
You increase productivity and employee engagement when you have good supervisors. We’ve known this for decades. But still most companies don’t pay attention. We as organizations need to do a better job of selecting people who are likely to do a good job as supervisors. We need to give them the proper training in supervisory skills and support them in their work. Most importantly, we need to help them develop.
Right on. I can certainly live, thrive, work, and engage with that perspective.
Engagement abdication. When we blame the boss (or anyone else for that matter) we abdicate our personal responsibility for engagement. We place our relationship to work in another person’s hands.
4-year old wisdom. I refuse to do this because even if you manage me, and manage me poorly, I live by the statement of my son when he was 4 years old. He stomped his feet, and defiantly declared: “You’re not the boss of me.”
Don’t blame. I know relationships play a big role in engagement and having a toxic supervisor or manager can certainly have a detrimental impact on employee engagement. But don’t blame. Yes managers and leaders and supervisors are pivotal in engagement but don’t blame them if you are disengaged.
Engaged corrections. And of course, don’t blame yourself or something else. Take a good look at the situation, get some perspective, and determine how you can engage in something to make it better. For example, here are a few quick alternatives:
- Ensure you have done what you can directly with the boss to improve the situation.
- Bosses, like employees, need healthy performance management feedback.
- Hold Crucial Conversations on the facts, your stories, and what you really want.
- Give the organization helpful information about the situation so that they can address the issue or issues.
- Make it your pet project to change the boss.
- Find a way to work around the bad boss.
- Put energy into getting into another department or workplace.
If you can laugh, you can last. Of course always remember, if you can laugh you can last. Don’t let anyone take your humor from you. It may even be okay in this situation to act like a 4 year old, stomp your feet, and shout: “You’re not the boss of me!”