How to Protect Your Employees From Multi-Boss Syndrome

John Krautzel
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As your company grows you may find yourself having to hire managers to help run your business. This can help lessen your workload tremendously. Unfortunately if you're not careful, having your employees report to multiple bosses can lead to multi-boss syndrome at your workplace. This can lessen productivity and cast a negative atmosphere on the work environment. Here are three things that you can do to help keep your office running smoothly.

Communication is Key

One of the number one ways that you can prevent multi-boss syndrome at your work is to encourage clear lines of communications between your employees and their managers. When there are multiple bosses in a workplace, lines of communication can get crossed if there is not a clear system of communicating about projects and who to go to in your business's chain of command. Your job is to make sure that your employees know exactly who they report to, how high a priority their task is and that your managers are communicating with each other.

Reduce Hands-on Management

The whole point of having multiple bosses is so you don't have to do all the work. They can't do their job if you can't stop micromanaging their projects. You hired competent, skilled managers for a reason, so let them do their jobs as efficiently as possible. Insisting on good communication is not micromanaging, but constantly second-guessing their decisions and wresting back control of the project that you gave them will only result in an unhappy workplace for you, your managers and your employees. There is a reason that you have multiple bosses at your company, and that reason is to make your life easier. Let them help you stop micromanaging and enjoy the freedom that delegating allows.

Quash Office In-Fighting

When there are multiple bosses at similar levels of responsibilities, sometimes power struggles can break out. Managers who oversee the same employees will often assign them conflicting tasks and each manager will insist that their task has the highest priority. This type of one-track thinking is inconsiderate, and leads to nothing but confused employees, bickering managers and lessened productivity. Make sure that you keep tabs on your managers and their management styles. If you find that you have managers who are overloading your employees or insisting on unrealistic expectations of them, it is your responsibility to sit down with them and make sure that they are reprimanded and course-corrected to a better management style. No one wins, least of all your business, when office politics reign supreme.

Running an office efficiently with multiple bosses can be difficult, but the results are well worth it. Keeping your business clear of office politics, muddy communications and micromanaging will help foster an office that runs on efficiency, respect and ultimately, success.

(Photo courtesy of iosphere at


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