37 Telling Signs Your Boss Wants You to Either Leave or Stay
WhatToGetMy Instructional Article
- When your boss likes you and doesn’t want you to leave, they create a positive and enabling environment that encourages you to stay on. In creating that enabling environment, they do certain things that are tell-tale signs that they like your work and want you to stay. Read on to find out what these 17 signs are.
- On the other side of the coin is the boss who wants you gone and wants you to quit. They are hoping that you will get the message and save them the trouble of having to fire you. They also give tell-tale signs that they want you to quit. Read on to find out what the 20 signs you are being pushed out of your job are.
- Seeing and knowing the signs are not however where it should end. You need to take intentional and decisive action in both instances, and this article tells you what these actions should be.
In 2019 alone, there were 130.6 million full-time employees in the U.S., and 26.94 million part-time workers in the same period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics.
Out of this number, about 10.76 million lost those jobs between the period of September to December, according to another survey by the same institution. One can only imagine how many job losses had occurred in the earlier period of January to August.
Statistics like the above understandably creates anxiety because, in a country where the unemployment rate stood at 3.7% in the same period (according to statistics from the same institution), employees do not want to be among the stats that lose their job. They want to continue being counted amongst the number that still has their job.
Sadly, however, it is not so much up to employees whether or not they stay at their job. The main determiner of whether or not employees stay at their job or leave it are often bosses or employers. Employers can create an enabling or stifling environment that would either promote employee retention or employee losses. The buck lies mainly with them.
And this is why this article is focused on them and how to spot whether your employer is creating an enabling or stifling environment for you. In this article, we show you the tell-tale signs your boss wants you to stay, as well as signs your employer wants you to quit. For both scenarios, we also provide helpful tips on what to do so that you remain part of the stats of Americans who are employed.
Why Your Boss Doesn’t Want You To Leave – Signs Your Boss Trusts You, Likes Your Work And Wants You To Stay.
Table of Contents
When your boss likes you as an employee, work-life becomes very enjoyable and something to look forward to. You will be counted among the 33% (according to a 2018 survey) who were very satisfied with their work.
When your boss is pleased with you and with your work, they will not want you to leave because they value your contribution to the growth of their business and the thought of losing you to a competitor is one they wouldn’t want to imagine.
But not everyone is fortunate to be in that position of privilege where their boss likes and trusts them, and do not want them to leave. If you’re asking yourself if you fall in this privileged category, here are 17 signs your boss trusts you, likes your work and wants you to stay. Look out for these signs.
Signs Your Boss Likes Your Work And Wants You To Stay.
Employers are not easy people to please, and if your boss is pleased with you and likes your work, it’s a good place to be in. They will create a positive and enabling work environment to keep you happy so that you don’t feel like leaving. These are 12 sure signs that your boss likes you as an employee and likes the work that you do, and would want you to stay and not leave.
1. They Tell You Directly And Commend Your Work Efforts.
When your boss likes your work, they usually don’t hide it. They gush about it at every chance they get, and they make it clear to you that they value your work efforts and like your work output. And even if they don’t tell you every day, they tell you and compliment you enough for you to know that what you do is valued and appreciated.
2. Open Channels Of Communication.
They will also keep an open-door policy that encourages you to approach them and speak freely about any challenges or issues you may have at work. And to create these open channels of communication, they usually schedule one-on-one meetings with you to discuss work and how you are finding it, and what aspects of it you may want to be improved on for a better experience.
3. They Are Not Too Rigid With You.
The company’s policies are not rigidly applied to you. You are allowed some flexibility when it comes to doing your work. If for instance employees are generally not allowed to work from home, you may have the occasional leeway to work from home if you don’t feel like working from the office.
4. More Work And Responsibilities Of Quality.
Employees who are valued, are actively engaged by their employers, and given more work. This may likely explain why according to a 2020 survey by Gallup, only 37% of the workforce was being fully engaged by their employers, which is less than half of the workforce.
To make you feel valued and like a key part of the company, you will be given more work and responsibilities of quality, as a way of challenging you. These are the types of responsibilities that contribute directly and visibly to the growth of the company, and because they see you as an asset they want your contribution to that growth.
The qualification that it has to be work and responsibilities of quality is an important one because that is what makes the difference between whether your boss wants you to stay, or is trying to get rid of you. If they want you to quit, they will give you more mundane work of less value.
5. Actively Seeking Your Opinion And Implementing Them.
When your boss is pleased with you, they make it a point to ask you what your thoughts are, on issues of importance in the company. And not only do they ask your thoughts, but they also implement some or all of them, as their way of showing that they value and think highly of it.
6. A Consistent Pay Raise And Extra Perks.
Employers put their money where their mouth is, and if they like you and value the work you do for them, they show it in the way they pay you and the extra remuneration perks you get. If you get a pay raise almost every year, or a bonus increase almost every year, that is a clear sign that your boss likes you and wants you to stay.
Closely related to a consistent pay raise is getting promoted. If you find that you are rising your company’s corporate ladder at a steady pace, it is an indication that your boss likes you and is interested in your professional advancement and growth, so that in that way you don’t leave.
8. They Spend On Training You.
They will not give second thoughts to spending the company’s resources in training you to acquire more relevant and increased skills that you will bring to bear in the work that you do. They see this as an investment in their best asset because when you are well-trained and well-equipped, you deliver more.
A boss that spares no expense in seeing to your professional training, likes you, and wants you to stay.
9. They Are Interested In Your Aspirations And Actively Mentor You.
You see this in the questions they ask you about where you see yourself in the company at a given point in time. They want to be sure that your aspirations and interests still have the company featured prominently in it. By asking you what your interests and aspirations are, it means he/she sees you as part of the future of the company and would want you to feel that way too.
As a way of helping you streamline your interests and aspirations, they will also actively mentor you or provide a mentorship framework to help you learn more about their industry and grow in their corporate culture. This mentorship is their long-term investment in you to show you that they see you with them in the long-haul.
10. They Check Up On You And Your Welfare.
They want you to always be on your A-game and in shape to keep delivering the quality work they have come to expect from you. And so, regular check-ups is to ensure that you are not burning out and are taking good care of yourself.
11. Giving Positive Feedback And Constructive Criticism.
They are always quick to give you positive feedback about the work you do. And even when they give criticisms, these are well-constructed and delivered, and are constructive and aimed at your personal and professional growth and development.
12. Little To No Supervision.
When your boss likes your work, they don’t feel the need to micromanage you or always stand over your shoulder trying to see what you’re doing. They trust that you will deliver and deliver well. And so, they trust you to get your work done at your own pace and with your personal touch to the work being done.
Signs Your Boss Trusts You.
Your employer may like you as an employee, and also like the work that you do, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that they will trust you completely. When it comes to trust in an employment relationship, it is almost like trust in a personal relationship; it has to be earned through tangible and physical results.
Gaining the trust of an employer is not an easy feat to accomplish, but has invaluable rewards once gained. Your employer trusting you means that they don’t even have to worry whether or not you have their best interests and that of their business at heart because they know you do.
Liking you as an employee is great and is one thing, but going the extra step to trust you is quite another thing, and not all employees make it into the inner gold circle of trust. Here is how you know if you’re in that inner gold circle.
13. Asking You To Train Other Employees.
This is one of the highest levels of trust your boss can repose in you. By asking you to train other employees, they are in essence saying that they see qualities of value in you, that they want you to pass on and impact other co-workers with.
14. Confides In You Over Sensitive Work (and maybe sometimes personal) Issues.
Trusting you means they also trust your level of maturity and sense of judgment enough to want to confide in you about sensitive work issues that they may not be free to confide in other employees about. You may find that if they are having challenges with an employee or a department, they may come to you with it and seek your opinions and views on it.
You need to be careful with this sign though. Sometimes, they could be testing you to see what kind of person you are generally, and how you speak about your colleagues.
Whatever the reason, confiding in you about sensitive work issues shows a level of trust beyond that which they have in other employees.
In some rare and extreme cases of trust, they may even start confiding in you about sensitive personal issues they may have. Where this happens to be the case, this is a rare privilege which you should be careful to maintain by being very discreet about the information they entrust you with and treating it with the uttermost confidence.
15. Mandate To Act On Their Behalf.
They may ask you to close important deals for them or to make decisions on their behalf when you have to deal with some of their business associates. This shows a level of trust in your skills and ability to act only in their best interests and that of the company.
16. Invites You To Attend Important Meetings With Them.
This is another way your boss shows you that he trusts you. By inviting you with him to important business meetings, he is also subtly letting his business associates know that you are one of their trusted employees who can represent them when they are not around.
17. They Make (Difficult) Work Requests After Work Hours.
Your boss knows that he can count on you at any time of the day. He/she also knows that other employees may grumble and complain about work requests after work hours, but you won’t. They also know that even if other employees may find it difficult, you will do it with relative ease. It means they find you dependable and know that they can count on you.
What To Do If You Think Your Boss Wants You To Stay.
Seeing all these signs and knowing that your boss wants you to stay is great, but it is not enough and should not stop there. It is not a time to sit on your laurels or relax and begin to take things for granted. It is equally as easy to fall out of your boss’s good graces, as it is to get them.
To keep you relevant and constantly in the boss’s good books, do the following.
- Don’t Abuse The Privileges.
It’s easy to get carried away with all the privileges and perks that you may enjoy as the boss’s blue-eyed boy, girl. You should however be wary of letting it get to your end enough to start abusing them or rubbing them in the face of your co-workers.
Here is why this is dangerous treading. Coworkers do not like colleagues that are visibly given special treatment more than others, and who rub it in their faces. It will not be long before you have a discontented coworker or two who will begin to spread rumors about your privileges and how it is unfair to the rest. Employers generally do not want the toxic work environment such rumors will create, and they may take those privileges away as a way of curtailing that from happening.
It’s great to have privileges but try not to draw attention to them by keeping them to yourself and not rubbing it in the face of your coworkers, especially if you know that not many of them get the same privileges.
Related article: How to get people to like you at work.
- Constantly Exceed Your Work Target(s) And Benchmarks.
In this way, you keep yourself relevant to the company and show the boss that you remain one of his/her key and vital work personnel. When your work speaks for you, your value cannot be denied. Always exceeding the targets and benchmarks that you are given tells your boss that you go beyond the call of duty and give more than is expected. This will keep you relevant and wanted.
- Go Out Of Your Way To Ask For More Responsibilities.
Volunteering to take on more work responsibilities tells your boss that you are not afraid to work and that you are all about delivery and getting the work done. Knowing that they can count on you to take on more work and still deliver, they will always give you more challenging responsibilities.
- Volunteer To Help More Employees.
If they’ve occasionally asked you to train some employees, you can take the initiative when new employees come on board and volunteer to train and mentor some of them. By doing this, you tell them that you are committed to imparting the corporate culture down to others and helping them grow, in the same way, that the company has helped you grow.
When you become an invaluable asset in training other employees, the employer will keep training you to increase your knowledge base which you will in turn pass down to others.
- Actively Seek Your Boss’s Insights While Offering Yours.
As much as bosses trust the judgment of the employee’s they like, they also still want to be kept in the loop as much as possible. They still want to feel very much a part of the running of the business.
While you should not bog your boss down with the mundane and trivial stuff, when it comes to the very important and critical things, it is always a good idea to discuss with them to get a feel of what they think. This will also help cover your base in case anything happens or things go south.
How To Tell If Your Boss Is Going To Fire You – Signs Your Boss Is Trying To Get Rid Of You.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have those bosses who do not like some employees and would much rather create an impossible environment to squeeze them out, rather than come out to outrightly fire them.
Maybe your boss is giving you a cold shoulder and you are not sure what to make of it and wondering if he/she is trying to get you to quit. Don’t speculate anymore. Look out for these 20 signs because they are signs you are being pushed out of your job.
With this one, they may not necessarily reduce your pay or anything of the sort. They instead choose to downgrade you to a department that you may have already left or which you know that you shouldn’t be in, given your skill set. This is a subtle way of trying to set you up to fail to make it easy to get rid of you.
19. Giving You Less Work.
This is another classic way of trying to force an employee out. When your boss gives you no work or reduces your work, they are hoping that you get frustrated by not getting any work to challenge and keep you busy and in that way leave to go somewhere else.
20. You Are Constantly Being Criticised Heavily And It’s Never Constructive.
Criticism at work is to be expected now and again because we will all make mistakes at work at some point. But the difference between the criticism of an employee who is liked and one that isn’t liked and is sought to be pushed out is in the manner of delivery.
If your boss is always looking for faults in everything you do just to criticize you even when it is not necessary. Or they make it a habit to pick out what they perceive to be your fault and dwell on criticizing it every chance they get. Or they never have a good or constructive way to deliver their criticisms, watch out. It’s a method they adopt when they want to create an uncomfortable environment for you to eventually leave.
The goal of criticizing you heavily and never constructively is to show seeds of doubt and poke holes in your confidence so that it in turn affects you and your ability to deliver. And when you do not deliver because of worrying if you are doing it right, your mistakes will give them the needed ammunition to get rid of you.
21. Passive Aggressive And Hostile In Extreme Cases.
In very bad cases, your boss may resort to being passive-aggressive by passing rude and disrespectful comments laced as sarcasm or jokes but underneath it is a real resentment. Other passive-aggressive behaviors could be ignoring you outrightly in meetings or pretending not to notice your raised hands or ignoring you in other less obvious ways, but enough for you to know they are ignoring you.
In some extreme cases, some bosses may not be able to control themselves and may lash out in a hostile manner, leaving you puzzled about what you’ve done to incur their wrath in such a fashion.
22. Avoiding You.
If you’ve been trying to have a meeting with your boss and they seem to be running circles around you, you are not imagining it. They are making an effort at avoiding you. And it is usually because they want to get rid of you and they don’t want to sit with you because they know you may be coming to complain about the uncomfortable environment they’ve created.
23. Leaving You Out Of Important Office Communique.
If you find that everyone else except you seems to have gotten that important office email about something important, you should be worried. If everyone else in the office except you appears to be in the loop about what is happening in the office, it is a sign that your boss wants you gone. Leaving you out in that way is an indirect way of telling you that you are no longer considered a part of the company or wanted around.
24. Not Investing In Your Training.
Your boss no longer invests in your training, and when you request specific training that you know will help you, there is one excuse or another about why you can’t undergo that training.
And to make matters worse, you may discover that other employees are allowed to go through the same training, but for some unconvincing reason, the boss does not want to train you.
Employers always train employees they value and like their work. If your boss is coming up with so many excuses for why he/she cannot invest in your training, it is an indirect way of saying they don’t see your value anymore and don’t want you around.
25. Not Giving Feedback On Work.
Feedback is one of the lifeblood of a beneficial work relationship. The employee relies on the feedback from their boss to improve and do their work better. If you no longer get the feedback you usually got and it seems you are being ignored, you should not overlook it. It could be that your boss has cut off the tap of feedback so that you are left to speculate on areas of improvement and perhaps make mistakes that will make it easy to get rid of you.
26. No Promotion Or Pay-raise.
If you can’t remember the last time you received a pay-raise or find that you are stuck in the same department year in year out when your other colleagues have been promoted and moved up the corporate ladder, it is another tactic to try and push you out. It is hoped that you get frustrated and annoyed by it and leave.
27. Closed Channels Of Communication.
Where there used to be open channels of communication and registering your grievance or concerns, the boss suddenly closes these off. Or maybe they are still there on paper, but when you complain to HR or the relevant department nothing ever happens and it feels like you’re hitting your head against a brick wall. This is no accident. You are deliberately being ignored so that you are pushed out.
28. Reducing Your Hours Of Work.
On the flipside of reducing your work, they may also cut back on your hours of work. At first blush, this may appear like a good thing that you are being given days off, but watch out if this becomes a regular thing.
This sign is a rather dangerous one because in those extreme cases where you are wanted out by any means necessary, it could be arranged in such a way that the day you are told to stay off work is when an important meeting is held in your absence. And by asking you to stay away, you are left in the dark and unaware that you are being left out and trying to be pushed out.
29. Asking Junior Colleagues To Supervise Your Work.
This is bound to annoy any employee and they hope it does. This is one of the extreme signs that they are trying to get under your skin in whatever way, to get you out. By asking a junior colleague to supervise your work, they are communicating a complete lack of trust in your work and its quality.
30. They Don’t Acknowledge Your Accomplishments.
Or they downplay it as not being a big deal. If you do so much for your boss with very noticeable positive results for the company’s bottom line and your boss does not want to recognize or appreciate it, or they try to water it down, watch out. They are trying to find excuses that you are not very useful or valuable to be kept around.
31. They Leave You Out Of Decision-making That Involves Everyone Else.
Everyone else in the office except you seems to have a say on one or two issues where all members of staff are given a chance to be involved. It is no accident but an intentional strategy aimed at trying to get you to quit out of frustration.
32. You Are Excessively Micromanaged.
Where you have been allowed to work with little to no supervision, now you have to be micromanaged. Your boss is always looking over your shoulder at everything you do. It feels as though he/she is poring over everything so that they can find something you’ve done wrong to criticize or hold against you. And that is usually what it is when they start scrutinizing everything you do under a microscopic lens.
33. Being Treated Differently.
If you find that amongst other employees who are similarly qualified as yourself, or in a group where you all do the same work, you are being singled out and treated differently in a negative way, it is something to be worried about. It’s never a good thing and a sign that you are no longer wanted.
34. You’re Made To Document Everything You Do.
If you were not made to always document everything before, and suddenly you are asked to document everything, the change is no coincidence. The secret wish is that you incriminate yourself in what you document. This is another way of trying to tell you that you are no longer trusted or wanted around.
35. Giving You Less To Work With.
This is another strategy that is used if your boss wants you to fail at your work and not deliver something up to the standard they expect. By giving you less than the tools of the trade you need, the thinking is that it will affect your final output and provide an excuse to fire you.
36. Giving You Menial Work That Brings No Value.
Sometimes they may call these “special projects” just to blindside you into thinking that the work is special or great. But when you scrutinize the work, you realize there is nothing “special” about them, and they do not contribute in any significant way to the company’s bottom line or growth. Giving you menial work of no value is a subtle indication of the changed value they now place on you.
37. Other Employees Also Change Towards You.
This almost inevitably happens when all the above signs are present because it won’t be long before other employees start to pick up on the fact that you are no longer liked or wanted around. In some cases, some of these coworkers may be instrumental in the change. Once you start noticing changes in how your coworkers interact with you that were not there before, watch out. They are subtly and indirectly trying to communicate to you that you are slowly becoming an outsider in the workplace.
What To Do If You Think Your Boss Is Trying To Get Rid Of You.
Where you notice any of these signs, it is important to remember and tell yourself these four things:
- You have done nothing wrong and it is no fault of yours.
If your boss was interested in correcting anything you may have done wrong, there are proper ways of communicating these rather than adopting the approach he/she is adopting. And in the absence of telling you exactly what you may have done wrong, it is not for you to surmise what it is or what fault may lie with you.
- You are not responsible for why your boss feels the way they do.
It is important that you understand this and not blame yourself. You are not responsible for why your boss may suddenly feel the way they feel about you. Only your boss knows why they feel that way and only they are responsible for choosing to feel that way.
- Their disposition is no reflection of your value, skills, and competence.
It is especially important to remember this when they start chipping away at your confidence through negative, harsh, and unwarranted criticisms. Always remind yourself that you are awesome at what you do or they would never have hired you or kept you this long. Always remind yourself of the feats you’ve accomplished so that your confidence stays up and you don’t make unnecessary and avoidable mistakes.
- This is not the end of the world or the end of the road in your career.
This is another important lesson to teach yourself. It is easy to feel despondent and consider this the end of the road, but it is far from being the end of the road. Get your positivity up and tell yourself that this is a blessing in disguise. It is a chance to grow somewhere else. You may not even realize it but the work may be slowing down your professional growth and advancement.
Once you have conditioned your mind to these four important points, these are the decisive next steps to take.
Talk to your boss about your observations and concerns.
Try to be as calm and composed as possible. Don’t be confrontational at all because being confrontational will only serve to antagonize your boss and make them turn up their negative treatment a notch up. And if you are not ready to leave yet, this will make things even more uncomfortable for you.
Without suggesting any ulterior motives on their part, simply voice your concerns about the things you have been experiencing and seek his/her assistance in making things better so that you can work better and deliver better. Since they are trying to be subtle and not come out clearly, they may feign ignorance and promise to fix the problem.
Make important notes of every negative occurrence that takes place if he/she does nothing about it.
They may promise to fix or address your concerns by lip and never actually follow it up with any concrete actions. You may find that things remain the same or may even take a turn for the worse. To cover your bases, document and keep a note of every negative action directed at you so that it is not said that you are making things up. This may also become useful if you decide you want to take up the matter legally and sue for constructive dismissal.
Work on a strategic and well-planned exit strategy.
At the end of the day, the truth is that you don’t want to stay at a workplace where you are no longer wanted. Ultimately you have to accept that the relationship has ended because fighting to stay never ends well. It never ends well because the employer almost always wins, and without a well-planned exit strategy in advance, you will find yourself without a job and a tainted reputation in your field.
Have an exit strategy that puts a timeline to your continued stay at your place of work. Depending on how bad the environment has become, this can be a period that ranges between 6 to 12 months. Your exit strategy should also include ways on how to go about finding alternative work. It is here that your boss’s reduction in your work and working hours becomes a blessing. Use the extra time to start scouting for alternative work. You can even start freelancing work in your spare time provided you won’t get in trouble for it.
Your exit strategy should also answer the question of whether you want to pursue the issue of the hostile work environment that led to your exit legally. The law allows you to sue for constructive dismissal where the employer actively went out of their way to create a hostile work environment to force you out. When you are decided on this route, your exit strategy should include gathering as much evidence as you can because it becomes important in such cases.
Work quietly on your exit strategy with no one’s knowledge.
The workplace can be a dog-eat-dog world. It is hard to trust anyone in the workplace, especially when you become that employee that everyone knows the bosses don’t like. The last thing you want is for someone to put a spanner in your works by disclosing your strategy to the wrong person who may work against you. Discretion will be your best friend until you completely execute your strategy.
It may feel like you are being bullied out and you may want to push back because you feel unjustly treated. Pushing back may work initially but eventually, the employer wins because they will do everything they can to frustrate and push you out. And in some cases, they will tarnish your clean record in the process. Rather than allow that to happen, it is always best to leave honorably.
It is best to leave and then fight from the outside if you still feel like the injustice has to be righted. You can approach a lawyer with all that you gathered and find out your prospects of success at a claim for constructive dismissal. A successful claim of constructive dismissal will give you some reprieve for being hard done by your former employer, but you can only do it if you leave with your honor and reputation intact.
Also, make your last days at work memorable and enjoyable. Our article on Funny things to do on your last day of work helps with cool ideas of what you can do in those last days of work.
Frequently Asked Questions.
- How do you tell if you are being pushed out of your job?
If you see any of the 20 signs listed in this article, they are indicators that you are being pushed out of your job.
- The boss cut my hours to make me quit, what should I do?
There isn’t much you can do except complain about it. And even then, there is no guarantee that anything will change. You can use the free time to your advantage and start looking for alternative work and don’t forget to follow all the 5 steps listed in this article of what to do if your boss is trying to fire you.
- What do you do when you are being squeezed out at work?
Follow all 5 steps listed in this article because there is no point staying at a place where you are no longer wanted because it will eventually start affecting your mental health negatively.
When the boss likes you, it is fun and blissful, but when they want you gone, it can become very uncomfortable and frustrating at work. Whatever the case may be for you, look out for the signs listed in this article, and take the decisive steps set out in respect of each scenario.
And as a final wrap-up, here is an interesting statistic for you on the happiest and unhappiest jobs in the U.S. as of 2012, according to a survey found on Statista here and here, in case you were wondering what sectors to get into for an enjoyable work environment and experience.
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