What do you do when your manager is wrong about something important and you are sure about it

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If you’re dealing with a boss that leads by yelling or intimidating or is holding you back from excelling in your position, there’s an effective way to tell HR without losing your job. 

Not everyone is cut out to manage people, and sometimes even managers need correcting to ensure the work environment is peaceful and productive. 

If you’re having difficulties with your manager at work, don’t be afraid to let HR know. Human resources handle many things in an office to help things run smoothly and ensure employees are happy and feel supported. 

How To Talk About A Bad Manager to HR

 – Talk to your manager first

 – Schedule time to talk to HR

 – Have a verbal conversation

 – Remain calm

 – Refrain from accusatory remarks

 – Talking to HR about a bad manager can determine the outcome, so you must do it correctly.

Talk to Your Manager First

It’s important to talk to your manager first about the issue to give them a chance to solve it successfully. Sometimes a bad manager doesn’t realize there is a problem until you bring it up to them. It’s best to give them a chance to be aware of the issue and implement changes to fix them before going to HR.  

Ask your manager if you can sit down with them to address your concerns. Be sure to keep your cool and speak to them in a kind and respectful manner while letting them know the issues. If the meeting doesn’t go well or the manager doesn’t make an effort to solve the problems, it’s time to bring it to HR.

Schedule a Time to HR

You never want to walk into HR’s office without notice to talk to them about a bad manager. HR professionals often handle their various critical duties to ensure the office runs smoothly. You’ll want to ensure that the HR professional gives you their full attention to be sure they hear your concerns. 

If your HR team has a digital calendar, you can schedule a meeting yourself; that’s a great way to block off their time to chat when you have their full attention. If they don’t use an online calendar tool, shoot them an email asking when would be a good time for you to sit down with them to discuss an important matter.

Have a Verbal Conversation

It’s always best to have a verbal conversation about a lousy manager when you talk to HR. Sitting down face-to-face will ensure they understand the importance of the issue and how it’s affecting your work. If you work remotely and your HR team is far away, schedule a video or audio call to discuss the matter.

Avoid only putting it in an email, so your tone doesn’t get misunderstood. That way, you can have an easy-flowing conversation about the bad manager. After you have a verbal chat with HR, they might ask you to put your complaint in writing or send a quick email to reiterate what you discussed.

Remain Calm

It’s critical to stay calm when talking to HR about a bad manager. You might be frustrated and upset, but it’s important to be mindful of your tone when talking to them. HR can better assist you with resolving the issues when you are calm and collected when stating your case.

Remember, HR is an advocate for employees and leadership, so they will simply hear you out at this point. A calm demeanor helps you get out everything you want to say so that HR will understand and help with a resolution.

Have Evidence 

When you talk to HR about a bad manager, make sure you are fully prepared with evidence and documentation to support your case. Having proof to back up your argument helps with your credibility.

Document everything you want to mention when talking to HR about your manager. Have a list of witnesses and get written statements from them if possible. Also, bring any other correspondence that will help you prove your case. HR can best handle the situation when they have clear evidence and understand the severity of the issue.

HR will take the issues more seriously when there’s evidence rather than just anecdotes and verbal complaints. Make copies of any documentation to back up your case, as HR will likely want a copy for records.

Refrain From Accusatory Remarks

Since your boss won’t be there to speak for themselves when you talk to HR, it’s best to refrain from accusatory remarks. State the facts, especially those backed by evidence, and let HR take it from there. HR will meet with your boss separately with the evidence in the report. 

What To Expect After You Talk to HR About a Bad Manager 

So, you took a stand and talked to HR about a bad manager. You might feel relieved or nervous about what’s to come. The next steps in the matter are up to the HR manager. It can go in your favor or against you. Here are a few outcomes you might see:

 – Mandatory meeting with all parties involved to solve issues

 – You or your manager get put on probation, demoted, or fired

 – New policies put in place

The ideal outcome is all the issues are 100% resolved, and you are satisfied. Implemented changes might take time to see positive results. If the manager were terrible, it would likely take them getting demoted or fired for things to get better. 

Your manager may be unaware of their performance. So, HR might require them to receive additional training or take extra steps to ensure there’s a positive change. HR may ask you to change specific things to help resolve issues.

Keep in mind that it’s possible your manager only gets a slap on the wrist, and nothing changes, or it’s only temporary. You might regret saying anything to HR. Some managers will hold a grudge and treat you poorly afterward. Be prepared with an exit strategy, as the bad manager may cause you to quit. 

Reasons To Talk to HR About a Bad Manager

 – Problems don’t resolve

 – Harassment

 – Bullying

 – Discrimination

 – Violating policies

 – Illegal activity

 – Affecting your productivity

Human resources workers typically understand the importance of employee happiness, and they will do what it takes to ensure staff feels safe and supported.

HR understands the work time and cost it takes to hire new employees, so they do what they can to retain the ones they have. When you have an issue with a bad manager, HR is there to help you with effective solutions. Here are a few valid reasons to talk to HR about a bad manager:

Problems Don’t Resolve

If you have expressed issues to your boss and they don’t take the necessary steps to solve them, it’s time to go to HR for help.

It’s best to bring your concerns to your boss first to allow them the opportunity to fix the problems without involving HR. It helps your case to HR when you have made your boss aware of the problem, and they didn’t handle it. 


Harassment is never OK, especially in the workplace.

If your manager makes harassing comments or gestures, it’s best to report it to HR. There are many forms of harassment, and HR won’t tolerate it from any employee — including a manager.

Unwanted sexual advances or comments fall under the harassment umbrella and should be brought to HR’s attention so that they can handle it quickly. It’s illegal for employers to allow employees to get sexually harassed in the workplace.


Some bad managers pick favorites and bully others. If your manager frequently criticizes you or says things to humiliate or put you down, it’s grounds to report it to HR. Bullying managers lead by yelling, insulting, and intimidating, resulting in a hostile working environment that HR should know about.


Discrimination against age, gender, religion, race, or disability is wrong and against the law. If your manager discriminates against you or other employees for any of these reasons, it should be reported to HR.

A bad boss might make jokes or comments about someone’s disability or religion, which is also a reason to talk to HR about the manager’s behavior. 

Violating Policies

Companies set policies to ensure things run smoothly in the office. When your boss is clearly violating company policies and negatively impacting you, your co-workers, or the organization, HR should be aware before things get worse. 

Illegal Activity

If you find that your manager participates in illegal activity, especially while in the office, it’s wise to let HR know. HR will take the necessary actions to eliminate any illegal activities at the workplace before any serious trouble arises. 

Affecting Your Productivity

If your manager is doing things that are stopping you from doing your work, you should tell HR, as low productivity can cost you your job. Depending on your position, your performance could affect your pay, so handling anything that slows you down from doing your job is critical.

The Takeaway

Talking to HR about a bad manager is sometimes necessary to solve issues in the workplace and help with your job satisfaction. However, how you talk to HR can influence the outcome. Ensure you schedule a time to have a verbal conversation with HR, remain calm, bring any evidence back of your claims, and let them take it.

If you choose to leave your job because of a bad manager, don’t worry —there are plenty of excellent leaders that will provide a positive working environment. When you are ready to jump into your next position with a great manager, contact the Pocketbook Agency, and we’ll find you your perfect match!


The Costs Of Training New Employees, Including Hidden Expenses | Forbes

What is Employment Discrimination? | US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission | EEOC.gov

Sexual Harassment – Equal Rights Advocates | EqualRights.org

What do you do when your manager is wrong about something important and you are sure about it | Admin | 4.5

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