5 Steps to Take When You Feel Like Your Company Doesn't Have Your Back
When someone has your back, they support you in good times and bad. Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell which way a situation will go before it’s happening. If you were in trouble, would your coworkers, boss, or company push you under the bus, try to rescue you, or jump in front of the bus themselves?
While you can’t always know for sure, you may have a sense your company doesn’t have your back long before anything goes wrong. So what should you do about it? Here are five steps you can take to improve the situation.
Step 1: Get to know your company better
One way to be able to tell if your company has your back is to find out if they have a history of standing up for their employees. If you’ve heard stories about former workers who made a small mistake and were immediately fired without a chance to explain themselves, chances are your organization is not going to win awards for dependability.
However, if your company has a detailed dismissal policy which promotes fairness, due process, and innocence before guilt, those principles will probably apply to you as much as anybody else. So before you go asking for a transfer or quit your job, make sure you’re not just being paranoid. Asking about other people’s experiences is a good way to establish whether your company will stand beside you or cut you loose in precarious situations.
Step 2: Ruminate on your own experiences
If you have the feeling your company doesn’t have your back, it may be because you have already seen signs of it. When a sale fell through, did your boss blame you when it was really his fault? When you had to miss a day because you were ill, were you warned that next time your pay will be docked? These kinds of red flags are definitely going to make you feel like you’re expendable, unappreciated, and easily betrayed. If you have a list of incidents like these, think about what might have caused them and how they could have been handled differently.
Step 3: Put it in writing
Once you’ve completed steps one and two and have come to the conclusion that you’re not being insecure, it’s time to do something about it. Start by writing down what you’ve learned from your investigation of yourself and others. Compose all the evidence in an objective manner, along with how you think situations should have been addressed to create more positive outcomes. It’s important that you not only point out the problems, but also clearly articulate solutions. You don’t want to be an employee with a litany of complaints and no plans on how to solve them.
Step 4: Set up a meeting to discuss these issues
After you have everything written down, set up a meeting with your boss, or with a group of managers, depending on the structure of your organization. If your managers refuse to attend or attend but grow defensive, make fun of you, or tell you to “suck it up,” you are not in a supportive organization. If, on the other hand, they appreciate your honesty and take your concerns seriously, you have an exciting opportunity to work together toward a more positive company culture.
Step 5: Make a decision
If you determine your company is not reliable or respectful, it’s time to decide if you want to stick around or cut your losses. You deserve to work for an organization that supports you, and it may be time to look for employment elsewhere. If you’re still unsure, you may want to wait a little longer until your suspicions are either confirmed or denied.
Ideally, your company will be supportive, loyal, fair, and compassionate. However, if that’s not the case, it’s up to you to do something about it. Follow the five steps suggested here to get to the truth, and let the truth guide your next steps.