Dear Barb—Boss Accountability

Dear Barb:

Hi, I am a junior accountant at a small accounting firm.  I’m willing to do many tasks since I’m at the bottom of the totem pole.  The problem I am having is with my boss.  I feel like I am invisible to him, or maybe he doesn’t like my work.  I do journal entries, update accounts and do reconciliations, also help with payroll and submit weekly and monthly reports.  When I submit a report my boss doesn’t say anything about whether it’s completed correctly.  Most of the time he doesn’t even mention that he has received the report.  When I don’t hear anything all I can do is assume it’s acceptable.  It would be nice to receive some feedback, just to know that my work is good.  I have heard him comment on other people’s work.  We do butt heads from time to time.  I’m beginning to think maybe I should be looking for another job.  Am I just being insecure, or am I correct in expecting some type of feedback from my boss. 

Thanks, Invisible Girl.

Hi, Invisible:

I hear ya!  There are good bosses and bad bosses as many of us have witnessed from the movie Horrible Bosses.  Good bosses create a healthy atmosphere for their employees, as opposed to bad bosses who manage by intimidation and fear.  An important aspect to being a good boss as opposed to a bad boss is to communicate and inspire your employees to do better.  Everyone likes to be acknowledged for what they do, and this is especially important in an employee/employer relationship.  I agree that you should be acknowledged for your work, especially since you are early in your career, but all employees should be recognized for their accomplishments.  Your boss obviously is lacking in communication skills.  Not everyone is a good communicator, but, as a boss, that is something that should be worked on through communication courses or books.

I do not think you are insecure.  Whether you and your boss butt heads should not impact the way in which he interacts with you.  A good boss does not take things personally and actually encourages their employees to express themselves.  Good bosses should work toward staff retention, which is achieved through a positive and interactive work environment.  As well, a good boss should be available to their employees, by answering emails, text messages, or phone calls within a reasonable amount of time.  If you submit a weekly or monthly report you should at the very least receive confirmation that it has been received and whether is it acceptable or not.  Here is the link to a book How to be a Great Boss.  Perhaps you could find a way to anonymously leave the book on your boss’s desk.  There is always the option of having a conversation with your boss and sharing your feelings.  Thanks for your important letter and good luck.

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