How To Deal with a Lazy Boss

Dealing with a lazy boss is a matter that requires much tact, caution, diplomacy, and politeness. Undoubtedly, your perception of laziness on the part of your boss can be a source of low morale and discouragement. Your boss’ laziness can also cause you to feel bitter and resentful, especially if most of the tasks or projects have been worked on by you. How do you deal with that kind of boss? Read on to learn some tips on dealing with your lazy boss.

  1. Never prejudge or presume. If you perceive your boss to be doing nothing or to be frequently delegating his job duties to you, you can view the issue in two ways: either your boss is a sloth or your boss is preoccupied. The latter interpretation gives your boss the benefit of your doubt. It is possible that your boss may be having some personal problem that she or he may be requiring more attention. Especially if your boss has not been “lazy” before, always err on the side of caution before labeling your boss “lazy” in your mind. The label that you attach to your boss in your mind will affect your attitude and your behavior towards your boss.
  2. Go on with your work. Simply because your boss is frequently taking time off does not mean you should also renege on your duties and responsibilities. This is a case of “follow what I say but do not follow what I do.” Uphold your untarnished professional ethics so that you will preserve your professional integrity and credibility.
  3. Stay calm despite your annoyances and stress. Having a lazy boss means more work will be dumped on you. Being caught in a blizzard of work can place a tremendous amount of pressure on you, but keep your cool. Giving in to your annoyances and magnifying your stress beyond rational proportion can delay and sidetrack you from accomplishing goals.
  4. Preserve the documentation. Always keep a record of correspondences between you and your boss. The records will show what tasks have been passed on or delegated to you by the boss. Such records will also be useful when you decide to escalate the issue to higher-ups.
  5. Talk to your boss about your concern. Try not to think of the discussion as a confrontation, though it actually, in essence, is a confrontation. When you speak with your boss, try not to emphasize his laziness. Instead, be more positive and focus on telling him clearly what you need from him so that you can do your job better. Express your disappointments in a polite and tactful way, but be honest and clear about them. Avoid bringing up his history of laziness or criticizing his laziness; instead, focus on concrete steps that your boss and you can take after the meeting so that your department can reach its goals.
  6. Talk to your boss’ boss. If your immediate boss doesn’t act on your concern within a reasonable amount of time, bring the matter to your boss’ immediate supervisor. Rather than blaming anyone for the delays or the low performance of your department, sincerely express your concern about ineffective management.
  7. Talk to the chief of human resources. This is another step that you can take if your “confrontation” meeting with your boss does not result in any improvement. You should request the human resources department to ensure confidentiality.

Having a lazy boss makes your work life difficult. The easiest way out is to find a new employer. But, you would want to do that only as a last resort. Try the suggestions discussed in this article first before considering resignation from your current job.


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