If your boss never says thank you, it can get pretty annoying. And it can start to color the way you feel about your boss — and your job. Especially when you know you’re doing a good job.
Is it just that bosses who don’t say “thank you” are terrible people? Or are they just terrible at showing appreciation. Let’s start by looking at how bosses communicate — and what to do if they don’t communicate.
Bad communicator boss tips
From a recent Work To The Wise post:
“Not every boss is a great communicator. In fact, most probably aren’t. So we have to take care of ourselves — and our own needs. Some things that can help:
- Without popping in every 5 minutes, initiate informal work-related chats with your boss every now and then. More often if they seem to welcome it.
- Ask for feedback if they don’t give it. And be prepared for things they would like done differently — but also ask what they think you’re doing well so you get a feel for their needs / expectations.
- If they do have criticism, ask for specific goals and any suggestions. Be open to what they are telling you, even if you disagree. Again, it helps you understand them better.”
Reasons boss never says thank you
Boss in it just for themself
Sometimes the reason is simple. Your boss is all about himself or herself. Rather than seeing you as a person who has normal human needs and deserves to be treated with respect, they see you as an interchangeable tool who exists just to do a job and to make them look good.
Boss appreciates you but bad at saying it
If your boss never says thank you, it could also be because they don’t know how to show appreciation. At least not in obvious ways. They may think that you already know that they value you and your contributions.
Boss thinks you’re not doing well & won’t say it
Once again, many bosses are terrible at communicating. Even if you are not living up to their expectations they may not say anything. A good manager lets you know how you’re doing so you can improve — and helps you get there. But with some bosses, your performance review is the first sign that things are not ok.
Boss freezing you out
Some bosses keep silent to send a message. They may even praise others in front of you to send a message. Again, not a great management style. They may be freezing you out for a variety of office politics reasons. Or they may simply be taking the coward’s way out, wanting you to move on but not brave enough to give honest face-to-face feedback.
Boss over their head or otherwise preoccupied
And in some cases, if your boss never says thank you, they may simply be on overload. Totally appreciating you, but keeping so many balls balanced in the air that they just don’t get around to letting you know.
So what should you do?
ASK!! Don’t spend your days nursing hurt feelings. If you are feeling left out or just unsure if you’re doing what’s expected, talk to your boss. It’s totally ok to look for helpful feedback. This could also be a good time to explore new assignments or directions that you both might benefit from.
Also, if your boss never says thank you, make sure you look for other ways they show you appreciation. Some bosses use actions rather than words. Trusting you with new assignments. Turning to your for advice. Perhaps even a promotion or raise. Don’t let your days be ruined by looking for words only.
The one thing you don’t want to do is bluntly say “You never thank me!” Whether in this case or in any, blame is an ineffective approach that usually backfires. And if you do happen to learn that your boss thinks you are not living up to expectations, than better you should know now.
More posts to help
And if you decide to leave instead of waiting