Q: I have lazy colleagues who seldom put in extra effort, and a hands off supervisor who does not seem bothered about anything. I don’t have a problem with her, but I think I can do a better job if I was given the opportunity. What can I do to change the situation?
Every work environment has positive aspects as well as those that need improvement. Even when organisations invest charitably towards creating a conducive environment for their employees, there may still be elements that do not meet the expectations of every individual. Based on your question, however, it seems there are little, if any positive aspects at your workplace.
How has your colleagues’ performance been rated relative to yours in the past two years? Has your organisation met its objectives during the same period? How is your role viewed in the organisation? What informs the opinion that your colleagues are lazy? Against whose expectations are you basing their performance? Moreover, are you satisfied with the rating that your boss has assigned your performance in the last two years?
Besides the apparent nonchalance, what shortcomings, in your view, hamper your supervisor’s ability to be a good boss? Do you view your supervisor the same way you do her peers? Do your other colleagues share your views concerning your boss?
Consider speaking to her about how your role could be modified, instead of privately seething in anger and dissatisfaction. If you doubt that she will take your views seriously, seek audience with her boss, or share your concerns with HR. Bear in mind that your colleagues and your boss also have their views about you and your performance. How would you characterise your relationship with them? What strengths make you better suited than your boss for her position?
Do key stakeholders in the organisation also feel that you would be a more suitable boss, or is that a self-absorbed assessment of your capacity? Are you the sole shining ornament in the mosaic of your organisation?
If you truly deserve your supervisor’s position, only time separates you from becoming the boss. Otherwise, it might help to look within yourself as you ponder the words of the author Wayne Dyer: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Fred Gituku, Human Resources Practitioner