6 Ways to handle a boss who steals the credit of your work

boss who steals the credit of your work


Having problems at work is nothing new, but what will you do if your boss is one? A top complaint among employees is that their work is not recognized by employers. And sometimes it’s because you pitch a brilliant idea to your boss and he rejected it – and some days later he presented the same idea to higher management. They love it and your boss take the credit. It’s to get frustrated if you work hard and your boss steals the credit of your work. But there are a few things you can do if your boss steals credit of your work.

Why a boss steals credit of your work?

Lynn Taylor, a workplace expert and author of Tame You Terrible Office Tyrant says “Power grabs can happen in any corporate environment because system is simply set up for competition.” However there is healthy and unhealthy competition and this unhealthy competition results in backstabbing and credit stealing etc. According to Taylor, bosses may think that I have to be accountable and responsible for every mistake and bad news, so why not take all the credit for good? But the fact they don’t realize that this will soon erode the staff’s dedication to work.

Also, there are bosses who feel threatened by certain employees OR some bosses believe that they must protect their role because of the competitive job market and high unemployment rate. This also happens if a company does not have proper guidelines and value statements and do not have proper check and balance system on employees.

Here are a few things that you can do if your boss steals credit for your work:

1. Evaluate

It is important to check your emotions and consider if it’s really an issue. Don’t let your ego come in the way and insult your boss, which could make your job at risk, don’t make the wrong move. Try a different way of looking at the situation. Your leader’s theft may be a recognition of your hard work. Have a positive thinking, the fact that your ideas are worth stealing is a compliment for you. Also, Don’t assume that your boss intentionally take credit of your work.

2. Discuss

Approach your boss sooner than later. Start and end discussion on positive note and discuss various projects. And on a proper time ask him if there is a particular reason for that. Taking your credit may have been never their intention and once you mention it in a proper way that it bothers you, you may find your boss giving you full or partial credit. Make sure that you give your boss benefit of doubt. Keep your ego and emotions away and use professional and productive language to mention the hard work you put into the specific idea or work. Like “I’m sure it wasn’t intentional but I noticed my name was left off the reports.” This approach will send the message that you are fully aware of whats going on and hopefully it will make difference.

3. Have Witnesses

If these instances of “ideas/work theft” have happened more than once and its becoming an ongoing issue. Make sure that rest of the team see what’s happening, wait to offer ideas in the presence of other team members. Make sure our co-workers and teammates witness your hard work and idea pitches. And these witnesses can serve as reference if you intend to move to a new job.

4. Document your work

Make a document to our work, especially important projects. If you keep good records and you find yourself in a position where you are asked to provide more information, you will be prepared. It is important to create a paper trail in the event you need to demonstrate that you were the origin of ideas. Save copies of emails, keep note on your calendar on dates when you completed a project or presented an idea. This may come in handy in a later date if you ever needed to prove your work.

5. Praise your Boss Publicly

If your boss is seeking visibility, you might be able to provide some. Taylor says “You don’t need to kiss up, but you may be in a staff meeting and be able to announce that your department has now achieved “x”, looking to your boss proudly. Or you might send her an E-mail congratulating him on an achievement.”

6. Get a new Boss

If it turns out that credit stealing is intentional and malicious and your boss continue to do it, then get out as fast as you can and don’t ruin your career. Talk to the concerned department in your company and apply for your transfer to a different team or ask to report a different boss. If that doesn’t work, keep and respectful and search for better job opportunity.


Taylor concludes: “It’s important to get credit and acknowledgement for your hard work. Just be careful not to focus excessively on how much credit you get versus the quality of work you do–or that in and of itself could derail you from providing optimal results.”


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