You’re not happy. You haven’t been for weeks, but you can’t tell your boss.
After all, what if it backfires? Open communication and honesty don’t seem like your boss’ style — a typical perception in many organizations, and particularly for new employees. In fact, only half of employees believe their boss is open and upfront with them, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2014 Work and Well-Being Survey.
Regardless of this stifling perception, you should speak up. If you experience something in your job that makes you unhappy and isn’t within your direct control, say so. It’s the only way your boss can work to make it better — and you simply can’t expect them to be a mind-reader. So get yourself together, get in there and make the job better, simply by getting real with your boss.
Here are a few suggestions to consider before you share what’s on your mind.
- Make sure you’re a rock star first
- Make an uncensored list, but edit professionally before you speak
- Don’t be needy or whine
- Don’t get cold feet
- Finally, don’t be entitled
Walk in with a neutral or objective mindset, and approach the conversation in a balanced way. Mention what you appreciate about the role and working environment, then note an area that needs improvement — and say why it’s important to you.
Be open to responses, engage in the conversation, and work toward your end goal with your boss. The less your boss feels blindsided, the more receptive you’ll find him or her to be.
It’s vital to be honest with your boss about the things that need improvement, so he or she can see areas in the organization where positive changes can be made. Often, you’ll find your boss very willing to address issues impacting employee happiness or productivity.