Does your boss want you out?

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Bad boss relationshipSurvey reveals how managers deal with disliked employees

In a perfect world, you and your boss would have similar personalities, agree on everything and get along 100 percent of the time. In the real world, you’re not always going to click with your manager. While not being BFFs with your boss doesn’t always cause problems, there are some warning signs that your rocky relationship may be putting your job in jeopardy.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,000 employers, 27 percent of bosses have a current direct report that they would like to see leave their company. These bosses deal with disfavored employees in different ways. Some send subtle signals of their unhappiness, others are direct in their discontent, and still others choose to avoid the situation altogether.

Some of the specific ways managers say they handle an employee they’d like to see leave include:

  • Issue a formal warning: 42 percent
  • Point out shortcomings in employee’s performance more often: 27 percent
  • Reduce responsibilities: 21 percent
  • Hire someone else to eventually replace the employee: 12 percent
  • Move the employee to another work area: 8 percent
  • Keep employee out of the loop regarding new company developments: 8 percent
  • Communicate primarily via email instead of in person or over the phone: 7 percent
  • Don’t invite the employee to certain meetings or involve him in certain projects: 6 percent
  • Don’t invite the employee to social gatherings with co-workers: 3 percent

While 32 percent of managers say they would do none of the above, if you were in such a situation, you’d hope that your manager would be upfront with you about any issues standing in the way of your professional success.

“It’s important that managers be as direct as possible when dealing with employees that, for whatever reason, aren’t a good fit for their teams,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. “Fortunately, a plurality of managers in our survey were open to confronting the situation through a formal discussion or warning; however, some will do nothing at all, or even resort to passive aggressive behaviors that can only prolong a negative working arrangement. It’s important that workers be aware of such warning signs, and if necessary, take steps to improve their situations.”

It’s not too late to turn things around
Whether or not your manager is direct with you about her discontent, chances are you’ll know if you’re not one of her favorites. While being in such a situation can be stressful, don’t look for a new job just yet. Here are some tips from Haefner on how to mend a broken relationship with your boss:

Recommit yourself to performance. Identify areas you can improve immediately and display your commitment to the company’s objectives. Sixty-three percent of managers say the best thing a worker can do after a falling out with the boss is to simply improve the quality of work. In most cases, the negative attitudes will be history.

Don’t hold a grudge or gossip. Fifty-nine percent of managers say one’s ability to “move forward and not hold a grudge” is important to repairing working relationships. This is a two-way street, of course, but workers who are able to display professionalism in spite of personal differences will be in a better position to navigate office politics. Similarly, 38 percent of managers say simply not discussing the falling out with other colleagues is a smart way to repair a relationship.

Rewrite the terms. If you sense your manager is pushing you away, take preemptive action by presenting ideas that may improve the working relationship. Forty percent of managers cite this as a good way to move past the problem. Workers have the right to clear expectations of their roles and responsibilities. A conversation that redefines or clarifies those expectations is sometimes necessary.

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