The desire to be wanted is part of human nature. We all know the feeling of walking into a room and having no one care. Some can remember being picked last for a kick-ball game while in elementary school. It’s emotionally painful when you attract little attention.
Here are signs that your boss no longer believes in you …
#1: You are not invited to important meetings.
Most managers take their meetings seriously, which means they will invite individuals whom they feel can assume bigger challenges. In these meetings, you can expect major decisions to be made, such as assignments to key company projects.
When your boss fails to invite you, she has lost confidence in your ability to meet performance goals. She might even feel that you might be an obstacle to success, which is even more problematic for you.
#2: The performance evaluation session consists of “going through the motions.”
When you are a key player in your department, the manager will make it a point to discuss the many ways that you bring value, such as by telling you the following:
- “Mark, you are a leader in Operations, and everyone else looks to you. We value your contribution.”
“Sara, you are in line for the promotion later this year. I’m working behind the scenes to make it happen.”
However, when you are low on totem pole, you can expect the following comments:
- “Debra, I want to make sure and cover all the sections of this performance appraisal. I’m sure HR will come after me if I miss anything.”
“Tim, this is your fourth year here at the company, so you know the drill. You are evaluated on six different areas, and the hope is to see improvement from year-to-year. Let’s see how fast we can get through this process.”
#3: The only communication from your boss is formal in nature.
When your manager likes you, he will take the time to have informal chats with you. He wants to know how the family is doing, and is the first to ask about your Disney vacation. He genuinely cares.
However, if your boss believes that you are a low-performer, you can expect only formal communication, such as via email or in staff meetings. You get the feeling that your days in the department are numbered.
I’ve observed situations in which managers disliked highly-competent employees. In these cases, the personalities clashed. When this happens, it’s important to stay focused on the job requirements. You need to ensure that you understand the expectations, and commit to exceeding them. Our current boss might have something against you personally, but you cannot worry about that. Your goal is to commit to the results.
If possible, you can schedule a meeting with your manager to try and “clear the air.” This strategy might work, but it can also backfire. There is a chance you will make the problem even bigger. Therefore, it’s best to focus on your work, maintain a professional attitude, and look for opportunities elsewhere.