Are you an incredibly hard-working person, but you feel your efforts go unnoticed? Meanwhile your boss is in the good books with his or her supervisor, and frequently presents your efforts.
Nothing upsets workers more than a boss who takes all the glory, while not acknowledging the efforts of staff. According to a Human Resources survey I read, it is the worst thing a boss could do. Workers feel powerless and unappreciated. So what do you do when your boss takes all the credit and never gives you a look-in?
1. Keep records
Document how much work you have done on a project and the outcome. Store your emails, keep notes on conversations and copy crucial documents. If you one day decide to talk to a more senior manager about your lack of acknowledgement, you will need these.
2. Promote yourself
Tell your co-workers what you are doing. Also promote your projects and successes on social media channels like LinkedIn. The more you talk about your projects, wins and ideas, the harder it will be for the boss to take all the glory. Ask your boss if you can present at meetings with his or her supervisors, such as the board or director’s meeting.
Don’t share your ideas just with your boss. Share them with the team and others outside the team. Others need to know you came up with the idea.
Be visible about your work by posting something on the wall near your desk.
3. Talk to your boss about your successes
Use language to stake a claim for your success, for example “I am really happy you decided to use my idea”, or “We worked hard together on this!” Your boss will have to acknowledge these statements about your efforts, but at the same time, you're not saying a bad thing about your boss.
4. Avoid getting emotional
When you feel betrayed you are bound to get emotional. Step away from work, don’t think about it and try to stay detached.
5. Talk to your boss
Some bosses don’t even realise they are taking all the glory. You might need to tell your boss that you feel passed over. Explain that you do not feel valued and you want to feel valued.
6. Approach human resources
If you constantly feel passed over you should talk to your human resources department. You can show them the evidence you have kept that you are behind the success of many projects but have been given none of the credit.
7. Look to doing work for other sections
Can you do some work for other departments at your office? Show another boss how very competent you are. Can you do some freelance on the side that will reward you emotionally and financially?
8. Find out why your boss is doing this
Bosses take credit for others because they feel they need the recognition or because they genuinely believe their superiors will be more receptive if the idea or effort comes from them, the department head. Avoid assuming that your boss took the credit intentionally. Sometimes bosses appear to take ownership, but they believe they are speaking on behalf of their team. Talk to your boss about this. It may be an honest mistake or a misunderstanding or a bad habit. You need to talk about it. Some bosses can learn if you talk to them. Approach your boss sooner rather than later. Do not let your resentment grow. Start and end the conversation on a positive note and discuss your projects. After your positive comments about how much you like your job, explain that you feel overlooked. Also know what you want. Say you would like to co-present to the board of directors or your boss’s supervisors.
Get your boss involved in your projects. If your boss is hands on with the project, he or she may be less likely to try and steal your glory. He or she will see the hours and effort you've put into it. It may be more difficult for him to have an indifferent attitude about stealing your thunder.
9. Talk to your boss’s boss
If you have a good relationship with your boss’s boss, book a time and talk about how you are feeling. Again bring all the evidence you have collected. Before the meeting, be clear about what you want. Do you just want the glory, or do you want your efforts noticed so that when it comes time for your annual assessment you are more likely to get a pay rise?
10. Start looking for a new job
Leaving your job because your boss takes all the glory is sad. If you do leave, tell human resources why you are going. If managers ask why you left, tell them but be careful not to defame your boss. Again have evidence, and be restrained. You do not want to be vicious or that will reflect badly on you. Explain that you value fairness and cooperation and that the situation has reaffirmed your positive sense of ethics and personal direction. You'll look grounded and trustworthy without appearing mean.
It always pays to have a mentor at work. You need someone more senior at work who can explain the workplace culture, and can provide you with direction and support. Find someone you can trust and who knows and respects your work, and values you. Even if your boss has failed to do this, it will help to have a mentor who knows and appreciates the real you. They will be essential for working out to manage your boss.
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ABOUT PAT MESITI
Pat Mesiti is a best-selling author, coach and educator in the area of personal development. Having built some of Australia’s largest people-driven organisations, Pat understands the power of harnessing human potential. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s great business minds and has sold over millions of copies of his books and materials.