5 Signs Your Manager Might Not Like Your Work

Manager Might Not Like Your Work

It is normal for an employee to be worried about whether his manager likes his work or not. But remember that you know your skills and the quality of your job better than anyone else. So, it should be easy for you to realize whether you are slacking off in your work or if it is just your manager promoting a toxic work environment. 

It is vital that you have a good relationship with your manager. If your manager does not like your work, then it can be a big problem. Fortunately, some signs can indicate if this is the case or not. You can use these signs to determine if your manager likes your work or not and take steps to improve your work quality if needed. Given below are five signs you are being set up to fail at work.

You Are Getting Micromanaged

Being micromanaged is the most significant sign that the manager is unsatisfied with your work. If the manager thinks that an employee’s work is not good enough, then he starts to micromanage that employee. Some of the ways you can tell if you are being micromanaged are that the manager starts to pay much more attention to you and critiques you more than other employees. He dictates those details to you that he should trust you to figure out on your own. He starts to require you to seek permission from him before making any decisions. In short, he shows distrust in you being able to do the job. 

Although you only need to worry if you alone are getting micromanaged. If the manager has the bad habit of micromanaging everyone else, too, then the fault likely doesn’t lie in you. It just shows that he has poor management skills. If only you are getting micromanaged, then try to figure out if you have been slacking off recently. If you have made some errors recently that could have caused the manager to lose trust in your abilities, then it is expected for him to be more cautious. 

On the other hand, if you have not given him any reason to be distrustful of your ability to get the job done, then simply ask him why he cannot trust you. Ask your manager if there is a better way for you to work independently and discuss any concerns he might have regarding your work performance.

You Get Ignored by Your Manager

Another sign that your manager does not like your work is that he ignores you. If you have very limited contact with your manager, then it could be a sign of the set-up-to-fail syndrome. Set-up-to-fail syndrome means that there is a continuous cycle of destruction going on where a manager worries about your work performance and starts to increase supervision while also pulling away emotionally. All of which contribute to the employee becoming less productive and motivated. This makes the manager feel like the employee is underperforming even more, and he further disengages from the employee, and so the cycle continuously aggravates the situation over time. 

Pay attention if your manager ignores you when you try to communicate with him. For example, he could be ignoring your e-mails and messages, or he cancels meetings with you a lot. Notice if your manager tries to avoid any informal conversation with you and only contacts you to put pressure on you about tasks. If this behavior is found between you and your manager, then he could be ignoring you. The best way to counter this would be to try and come up with a better way of communication between you and your manager. 

Getting Questioned a Lot About Your Work

Another red flag could be that your manager questions you a lot regarding your work. Now, keep in mind that we are talking about questions that are a bit more pointed at you and are persistent. So there is no need to be worried about your manager asking simple questions regarding your work. If your manager asks you a lot of questions that are more pointed and persistent, then it could mean that he does not trust your abilities enough. Being questioned a lot regarding your work could mean your manager does not find your work satisfactory and feels the need to keep an eye on how you operate, which prompts them to question you continuously. The best way to counter this is to take steps to build more trust between you and your manager. 

You Get Overlooked for Opportunities

One of the critical 'signs you are being set up to fail at work' is when your manager does not give you larger responsibilities. You might get stuck doing the routine tasks while other employees get bigger assignments. If a big opportunity comes along and you make it known to your manager that you are interested and he still gives it to someone else, it could mean that he is not satisfied with your work. He might think that you are not up for the task, and that is why he overlooked you. If this happens to you, then it could mean that your manager does not trust your abilities and could be indicative that he is dissatisfied with your work and performance. 

You Are Treated Differently Than Others

A sign that your manager dislikes your work could be that he treats you differently than other employees. If your manager is much nicer to other employees while he is very cold towards you, then it is possible that he does not consider you to be good enough. Another way of being treated differently is criticizing you much more than other employees and nitpicking your work. You might also be left out of important meetings. All of these could be indicative that your manager does not find your work satisfactory. If you feel like you are being treated differently, then ensure that there is actually merit to what you are feeling and you are not just imagining it.

Recognizing these 'signs you are being set up to fail at work" is the first step towards addressing and rectifying these issues. If you notice any of these signs to be present in your work life, then the best way to counter them is to build more trust between you and your manager, have a conversation with them regarding the problem without taking an accusatory stance, and try and improve your performance where possible.

Tina Persson, PhD, Career & Leadership Coach

Global ICF Coach | Coaching and training high-performing professionals to unlock and maximize their potential for guaranteed business success

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