Sunday, May 19, 2013

Are You Afraid of Your Supervisor?

Are you afraid to discuss your work schedule, clarify a work duty or request vacation leave?  What about being told to take leave and come in late for work the next day after working on a forest fire, would you feel comfortable showing up at your regular time?  Employees who are afraid of their supervisors is a recurring theme at bargaining table this year, enough so that Glenn West, Chief Negotiator for the Department of Administrative Services (ODOT Coalition) had to say that an employee should not be afraid of their boss.

Nobody should be afraid of their supervisor; it is not healthy for employee or employer. So how does it get fixed?  If it is a true bully boss situation contact SEIU or Human Resources but if not, then being an empowered employee may be enough.  Being an empowered employee takes skill.  Empowerment is not being rude or disrespectful, but having the ability to ask a question, ask for something that is yours, or clarify a work assignment (make sure assignments are clear and understood).  The skill is in figuring out what is the best way to say something, understanding if it can be heard right now and knowing what messages are better said as an individual, by a group, or with your Steward. If it is a contract issue do you really know what it means (check with the SEIU Member Resource Center) and how the words are being interpreted. Empowered communication considers the message, delivery and audience.

No employee should be afraid of their boss.