How to Deal With a Bad Boss or Manager

How to Deal With a Bad Boss or Manager

We have all been in a position, or at least know someone who has, where we have a boss or manager who is just not our cup of tea. Or one whose practices we disagree with. Luckily not here at Wurkplace!

In this blog, we will go through the ways of dealing with a bad boss or a manager.

It’s completely normal and is often experienced within the workplace. But, there are ways to deal with this so that you can keep the job you love and work harmoniously with everyone – including your ‘bad’ boss.

The main point to take away from this is you still need to maintain a certain level of respect – they are still your boss at the end of the day – but respect is a two-way street.


What constitutes as a ‘bad boss or manager’?

There is no simple answer to this question – however, there are certain red flags to look out for. These can include:

  • Playing favourites within the company.
  • Lack of flexibility – emergencies can and will happen!
  • Criticising you in public / around colleagues.
  • Lack of trust in employees or micromanages.
  • Inappropriate actions and language.
  • Lack of feedback.
  • Resistant to any help or criticisms.

It is important to note you must not let personal issues cloud your judgement. Think – are they actually a bad boss or manager? Are they acting unethically?


What about if they are breaking Employment Law?

It is important to know the difference between just not getting on with someone or not liking the way they work and working in an environment that breaks employment laws and business ethics.

If you feel you are being treated unfairly at work, it is important to understand what type of treatment you are experiencing. Different types of unfair treatment are as followed:

  • Bullying
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation


If you want to know the differences and definition of the above, please visit the ACAS website.


Another example of how your manager may be ‘bad’ is if they are undertaking illegal activity or overtime or break violations. Whistleblowing can protect someone by law who is reporting on such activity. If you, as a worker, were to become a whistleblower then you should not be treated unfairly and should not loose your job for doing so. So, if you are experiencing this – speak to the relevant people.


It is not right to experience any of these in the workplace and should not be accepted by an employee – even if your manager or boss is the perpetrator.


What can I do if I am experiencing this?

It can be a worrying and intimidating time if you are encountering this but there are ways that you can solve these issues!  It might seem like there is nothing you can do about it, but it is still possible to complain—you just need to know how to do it effectively and without jeopardizing your job.

Firstly, if you feel comfortable, you can informally tell your boss or manager how you feel, politely telling them how it has affected you and have a mature conversation about this with them – more than likely they will take this onboard, realise their actions and the problem will be resolved.

If this does not work or you are not comfortable with this option, then there are other approaches to take such as putting it in an email, letter or through a trade union if you have one.

Again, if the problem is still persistent then there are points of contact that you can go to. The initial point of contact if you had an issue would be your manager however – if it is concerning the manager then you may feel like there is no one else to share your worries. That is not the case. You can contact another manager, area managers, a human resources representative, a counsellor employed by the company or again the trade union.

You should also have policies in place that outline how the company deals with such issues. Here at Wurkplace we can supply a handbook with relevant policies to our clients and offer HR support with issues such as these, not only for employees but employers also.


What if the problem persists?

Don’t lose faith; If you are still unhappy within the workplace due to these feelings, there is another step you can take. This is called a grievance. A grievance is a formal complaint against someone or something. Once you have raised a grievance then there are steps your employers (in this case if it is against your manager – a HR representative or another manager / person in a high position) should take:

  • Asks you to a meeting to discuss your complaint (the grievance meeting)
  • Investigates your complaint.
  • Gives you a written decision.
  • Gives you a chance to appeal if you disagree with their decision.

If you need any more guidance on how to raise a grievance, then visit the ACAS website.


Things to remember!

Your manager is human too – have a conversation with them. They experience off days as well and they may not even realise they are upsetting you or the work environment. Try to work with them not against them.

If you do go to a human resources representative, they may not always let you know the exact steps that have been taken to address the issue. Just know, something has been done or is in the process of being dealt with.

Avoid gossiping about your issue with co-workers. This can make the situation worse, and matters can be misconstrued – talk to the relevant people.

Do not let this take over your life; You should address the issue; come to a resolution; carry on producing high quality work for your company and manager.

Finally, you do not have to put up with anything that makes you uncomfortable or breaks laws!


If you need help with any of these issues, Wurkplace is here! We provide bespoke HR and Health & Safety solutions to businesses all around the UK.

Contact us by calling 0330 400 5490 or emailing for more information.



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