These employees collect their pay packets just as everyone else, regardless of their mediocre performance . In other words, they are the beneficiaries of undermanagement.
And therein lies the importance of appraisals . They help to strategically review the strength, weaknesses and achievements of workers during the year, says Bruce Tulhan, author of “It’s okay to Manage Your Boss”. The title is catchy, it’s specific, detailed and honest. Tulhan’s warning that becoming a better manager is like starting a fitness programme couldn’t have been more apt. The book advises you on how to engage your boss in your work, get clear directions from him and guides employees with tools and feedback for success.
But he also says clearly that the book is meant for high-performers. He says that one needs to create a close, official relationship with every boss, no matter how great or awful he is, no matter how he is on any given day or how he himself performs.
Tulhan charts out four basic things an employee must take responsibility for. They are: Clearly spelled-out and reasonable expectations with a concrete timetable; skills, tools and resources necessary to meet those expectations; accurate feedback about your performance as well as coursecorrecting direction and fair quid pro quo, ie, recognition and rewards in exchange for performance. There are also tips for keeping a close, official relationship with your coworkers.
Tulhan is also able to shift the wheat from the chaff and says that though managers are demanding more and more from employees, they are also providing them with less guidance than ever before. But employees can improve their careers despite this lacunae. He debunks certain myths such as if you are a high-performer , then your boss shouldn’t tell you how to do your work.
This book is especially relevant in today’s times when companies are cutting back on overhead expenses and staff as they ride out the financial crisis. Many of today’s employees are overworked, often performing the job of two or three people for no additional pay. Research shows that many employees feel powerless and are not in a position to complain about their circumstances, holding on to the job the way one would cling to a lifeboat. It also talks about the epidemic of undermanagement, which is responsible for the precarious environment at the workplace.
It is a well-researched book and a successful follow-up to Tulhan’s earlier book “It is Okay to be Boss” . And the bottomline is: It is okay to manage your boss if you are good.