Performance Management/boss


Hello and thanks for taking the time to answer my question. The subject is my boss. A very nice man with tons of family problems. He manages a 3 person marketing department. I do the graphics, he does the marketing and there is a mailroom clerk. Problem: he is overly burdened with his family problems, he has been "screwed" by the CEO in being promised a substantial raise after moving here from out of state. He can't remember anything. Doesn't communicate and doesn't want to do other duties. So when I get a graphics assignment I ask him or the marketing direction. He doesn't know or doesnt want to tell me. He is in charge of advertising as well. But I do all the ads, creative, and writing. Even though I am not a writer. He should be doing the writing. But he says he doesn't want to do it. So my big problem is that I feel he is simply not doing a good job, which makes it more difficult for me and the mailroom clerk. In addition, his wife has a business in development that he is spending his time at work helping her. And more...he surfs the net, checks out the kids grades on the net. Then he goes home, cooks and cleans. His wife is high maintenance, according to him. And she does not appear to help on the homefront. This has really made me angry towards him, because I feel he is just not doing his job as well as he should. How do I talk to him about this? What do I do? It's been two years and not getting any better. My real desire is to move to find another job. But I am 59 and it will be tough to do that. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

Hello Bob,

Sorry to hear you have supervision issues.  I have had many bosses in my day and only one really bad one that I can recall.  Working in H.R. I was of course a driving force in removing poor supervisors for a lot of reasons.  They are the worst.  They are suppose to be leaders, represent the best interest of the company and employees, and create work environment conducive to encouraging employees to come to work, do their best and move careers forward.

So as I see it you have you have a few alternatives:

Ride it out:  You know this, “you can’t pick your boss”, and, sooner or later bosses turnover.  Admittedly, two years is a long time.  I am 64 and I don’t care what the government says, age discrimination is alive and well.  I have been trying to get back into the executive ranks for 1.5 years, I have tremendous qualifications (see, applied to a lot of companies, no dice.

Next confront him: If you choose this do it with great preparation, choose a path that shows him that there is an opportunity for him to be better at his job without actually saying that.  You know him well so with some thought this might be doable alternative. Be cautious.

Lastly, have a meeting with his boss:  Make sure you, again, follow the rule of being constructive, and prepared.  And, have a balance in your conversation that shows (1) ideas for improvement, (2) discusses both negatives and positives (3) respect and concern (4) find a way to introduce some humor in the conversation.

The last two are the riskiest of the three.  Be cautious but don’t eliminate them as alternatives… they are the most effective and beat the heck out of “riding it out”.

Best of luck to you Bob!  That is a tough situation you have… “been there, done that”.


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Mark Eichinger


Questions related to Performance Management: related systems and processes in organizations, supervisor-employee roles, organization issues, relationship to employee training and development


My Human Resources career spanned 30 years of management and leadership posts covering domestic and international locations and included assignments in operating plants, divisions, business units, and corporate level postings. Experienced in organization culture management and all operating situations with years of experience in matrix organization structures. In the Asia Pacific region, led the multiple-country Asia Pacific H.R. organization, the professional and general manager development programs, China’s university relations program, and managed the Asia Pacific key leaders process. Coached professionals, managers and leaders. Passions are leader accountability, employee engagement, development and performance, and business strategy, planning, deployment and metrics.

Small business administration, Lions, Kiwanis, and other community organizations to included boards of directors posts in public and private organizations. -- Business Consulting.

Bachelor of Science in Business from Youngstown State University; certificates from the Thunderbird School and University of Tennessee in Management and Lean Manufacturing.

Awards and Honors
Corporate level awards for communications and compensation projects.

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