Going over the boss’s head is not fun and can have consequences. If you are drowning in a sea of incompetent management, use these life-saving tips to stay afloat.
First things first: it’s going to be unpleasant, at best. Some executives might see employees who go over their direct manager’s head as whiners or a tattletales who do not know how to deal with things in an appropriate manner.
Unfortunately, it is also sometimes necessary. If your boss won’t help, persistent problems that are detrimental to your own ability to do your job or to the health of the business itself are like poison. Untreated, that poison will slowly but surely kill the morale in the workplace or the company itself.
1. Only as a Last Resort
Go over your boss’s head only once you’ve tried everything else. Decide whether you can get your job done without having to speak with someone higher up the chain.
2. Talk Like a Team Member
“We have a problem with the scheduling. We seem to often not have enough people on the floor to meet customer demands, and just the other day two people left early but there were no consequences.”
Use of “we” is very important; avoid “he did this” or “you did that.” Present yourself as someone who is concerned for the morale in the workplace and the health and success of the business.
Do not sound as if it is personal. Even if you are upset for a good reason, do not focus on your feelings. Focus on how to solve “our team’s” problems.
3. Offer Solutions
You must offer possible solutions to any problems you present. This makes you look like a productive team member, and not a complainer.
You may be told why your solution will not work. Be willing to brainstorm with the manager if the opportunity presents itself.
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