Plenty of people in the workforce don’t specifically answer to one boss, sometimes employees will answer to two or even three supervisors at one time. Having to please more than one person isn’t an easy task when you have multiple opinions, multiple ways which they expect tasks completed, and overall, multiple leadership styles. If you’re an employee with multiple supervisors, you need a combination of hard work and dedication with a little bit of finesse thrown in for good measure.
Below we have shared some tips to ensure you shine no matter how many bosses you have!
With multiple people to report to, it’s important to establish who reports to who within the organization. Although you may answer to multiple people, you should establish who your supervisors answer to as well. When you determine the hierarchy within the organization, you can then prioritize your work based on that information.
Prioritizing your work based on the chain of command is one way of determining what tasks gets completed first, but it’s also important to work hard for all your bosses as pleasing only one of your bosses can still result in negative consequences from the other(s).
Communication is key
Communication is key when working for more than one boss. At any given time, they may not be aware of the workload you are completing for your other supervisor(s). Without communicating your workload to all your bosses, you may find that more and more work is added to your plate.
If they are aware of your workload, they are less likely to make unreasonable requests. Be sure to communicate with them regularly about project deadlines for projects they may not be involved with.
Understand your responsibilities
If you’re feeling discouraged with all the tasks you need to complete on a day-to-day basis, take some time to investigate your roles and responsibilities. If you need clarification on what you are supposed to be doing, a good start is looking at your employment contract and prioritize your tasks based on that.
Are you doing more tasks then was originally communicated in your contract? Talk about this to your bosses and determine what should take priority. As stated below, you should meet with all your bosses at one time, so everyone is on the same page.
Meet with your bosses, together
Include all your bosses/supervisors in meetings regarding your workload to ensure everyone is on the same page. By doing this, you are including them all in the conversation and can let them hash-out the most important tasks you should be completing.
If your bosses clash on certain requirements, stay in a neutral position and don’t take sides. This will only further complicate potential problems. This is when a little bit of finesse may be required.
Follow a schedule
Multiple bosses mean multiple projects and deadlines. When working for more than one person, it’s important to follow a schedule to ensure you meet all your deadlines. Creating a weekly and monthly schedule is a good way to make sure you stay on track. Sharing that schedule with everyone you report to can also help with the work load.