Just pitch in and help do the job well

Dear Joan:
I work for a service industry. Before accepting a promotion to an entry-level supervisory position, I was given a brief job description. Since taking the position, I feel misled! I'm doing work not listed in the original job description and not receiving credit for it. Every time I mention this to my supervisor, I'm told that I assist but do not actually perform any additional duties.

Supposedly, my supervisor is "too busy" to handle his responsibilities, so I'm stuck doing them. When confronted with this, my supervisor has "a fit" and tries to make me feel ungrateful. I appreciate the opportunity; yet I don't feel I'm getting the credit due me. The supervisor ignores the morale problems, including anything that leads to confrontation.

I feel I am under a great deal of pressure and don't think I can handle much more of this. I enjoy my place of work buy not my present position. The reason I have stayed this long is because my wife is unemployed. We need the income.

Put your job description in a drawer, stop complaining about not getting credit, tackle the morale problems and stop confronting your supervisor about the raw deal he's giving you.

You are misinformed about what an entry-level supervisory position entails.

Job descriptions are supposed to be brief. They only describe a skeletal outline of your job. A full description would look like the great American novel.

Complaining to your boss that you aren't being credited for everything you do is inappropriate at this stage of the game.

Credit that's demanded is hard to give.

Of course your supervisor is too busy to handle all his responsibilities. If he had time to do them all, he wouldn't need you. Your job is to help your boss get the job done - even if you both dislike some of it.

Busy people often get so distracted by the work, they forget to thank those who help them do it. This is no excuse, but it's a fact of life you'll have to accept.

If you are accountable for the group's performance, you are also accountable for resolving the morale problems. Granted, your supervisor's role is to support, coach and back you up. However, this is your primary area of responsibility.

If you've been talking to your subordinates about this situation, there's a good chance you have contributed to the morale problem.

Stop focusing upward and begin to pay attention to what's happening on your team. Morale problems often occur because bosses don't pay attention to their teams, don't resolve problems, don't get input and don't give credit. (Sound familiar?)

If your boss didn't do these things, don't follow in his footsteps.

Get your team together and list "what's going well" and then "what needs to be improved." Start with the most important issue and ask the group for suggestions. Make sure the group (and you) focus on actions all of you can take. This is not a bitch session or finger-pointing spree.

If all this seems unfair, you may want to quit your supervisory job. If you persist in your present path, the decision may be made for you.

Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616, mailto:info@joanlloyd.com, or www.JoanLloyd.com 
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