Unless you are the self employed owner of your own business or the CEO of a company (and even most CEO’s have a Board to report to), there is a boss of some kind that supervises your work. The boss is there to manage you, make sure the company’s goals and procedures are being enforced, and to be the leader of your team or organization. But what happens when your boss or your supervisor takes credit for work that you have produced without giving you credit?
This very thing happened to me a few years ago when I was working as a hiring manager for a very large collection agency. A criteria and pre-screening company contacted me and allowed me to use their products on potential employees, and I took the offer and tested it out for sixty days. During that sixty day trial, our turn-over rate decreased and we were able to hire solid employees who ended up making bonuses their first month on the floor, something that rarely happened in the past. I was given the go ahead to sign the contract to have this pre screening software implemented in our hiring process. My boss was extremely happy with the results.
A few weeks later, I learned through the grapevine that my boss was taken to a very fancy lunch by his bosses and told them that it was he who had come up with the idea to try the software and implement it immediately in our hiring process.
At first, I didn’t know what to do. My boss only gave me the go ahead to sign the contract after I had did all of the research, legwork, and implementation of the software during the trial period and subsequent contract. He had no part in the trial whatsoever. As a matter of fact, he balked at it when I told him I would be trying out the software to see if it would have a positive effect on our hiring. I didn’t like the fact that he took credit for my project and I let him know this in a meeting. A meeting that I arranged with his boss.
Never let anyone take credit for your ideas, work, etc. Boss or not, if it is your work, you should receive the proper credit. Take steps to protect your work by adding initialed footers to all of your documents. Also, when sending or sharing a document with someone, always share it in a manner so it cannot be changed. Protect it from being edited in your word processing software.
Keep all emails and organize them in a folder. This helps keep an actual paper trail, so if you need to, you can prove it was your idea. CC your emails to your boss and others so that there is more than one person who knows about your work.
If you must, get human resources involved. It’s not about the glory, but about your hard work, work that you did and not your boss. If it gets ugly, it is good to have human resources in the loop.
These are just a few things you can do in the office to protect yourself from having your boss, or someone else for that matter, take credit for your work.
Be smart, establish a paper trail, and always play offense instead of defense. Show your boss who is boss!
Have you ever had a boss or someone else take credit for your work?