At my place of work, we have many employees who

  • Refuse to do their assigned work
  • Do others' work and not their own
  • Abandon their workspace whenever
  • Yell at customers
  • Just leave whenever things start to get hard
  • Refuse to sell things to certain customers

But the worst thing is, the manager is a pushover and nobody ever gets into any trouble or gets written up.

We had a previous incident where one employee was actually injured by another one, on purpose. Upper management had to come in and handle that case. It was the first time anybody had been disciplined since I've been working here. I transferred 2 years ago.

Should I report my manager for not managing the work environment?

Edit: The upper management doesn't actually work at the same location and any complaints from customers or other employees stop at the manager.

  • 8
    How come that such behaviour, especially as it seems to be an habit, can go unnoticed for 2+ years? I mean there must be some KPI's not met, some customers complaints, some huge turnover, basically a lot of indicators of such a bad situation. If all this can go unseen for that amount of time, I doubt reporting it would be any kind of help...
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 20:02
  • What makes you believe that upper management isn't aware already of what's going on? Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 20:06
  • @JoeStrazzere well, OP did say the boss is a pushover... I'm only half-joking.
    – jcm
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 23:53
  • 1
    @J.123456 how does your boss's management style (or lack thereof) and the resulting environment affect you and your work?
    – jcm
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 23:55
  • 7
    What do you hope to accomplish by reporting your manager? Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 1:38

5 Answers 5


This is unlikely to work out well for you.

Nothing is kept in confidence in business environments. Your boss will for sure hear that you complained about him not disciplining people.

The higher ups may or may not believe you, they may or may not already know his management style, they may or may not do anything about correcting your boss (the chance that they'll do more than mention it to him is <1%), they may or may not take action against you (you think they may want to know, but there's a lot of people out there that don't like narcs, and if the branch is meeting their goals then they could care less how it's happening).

But you can certainly look forward to being on your manager's list of "people to prove their mettle on by disciplining them a bunch." If you want to take a high chance of blowback for a very slim chance of anything improving, that's up to you.


Usually, when upper management is interested in things like this they come and ask employees questions like "How do you like your work/manager? What could be done to improve things in your opinion?". That is the natural place to report this stuff.

You say you've been there for 2 years and if you had gotten anything like this you would not be asking this question. Because of that I conclude that upper management is not interested in what you think of your manager. If so, then going out of your way to tell them will only bring problems for you. There's no easy solution.

The ideal option is probably to just quit, assuming you can find a decent job elsewhere. There's a small chance that upper management does want to know, but they are too clueless or disorganized to have a system for it - in which case it would still be ideal to quit for a better job at a less dysfunctional company.


Have you considered anonymously complaining about this, from a new email address? Without disclosing your identity, you may describe specifics, and even point to cctv evidence etc.

But do consider employee strength at your office. Anonymous complaint may work if there are a lot of people, otherwise they may be able to identify you.

It might help to cc a lot of senior people, like board members, CEO, skip leader of your boss etc.


The question I would ask myself is: how does this affect my work? Are you required to work longer hours because you're correcting your coworkers' mistakes? Does your workday become too stressful to handle?

Unless these shortcomings significantly impact you, I wouldn't recommend taking any action.

If you feel that you can't cope and you genuinely wish to express your grievances, aware of the potential repercussions as suggested in other responses, ensure you frame the issue around yourself.

Convey to them that you're unable to handle the stress and workload anymore. It's crucial to document your workload to provide proof, preventing any misconceptions about your competence and work ethic.

However, typically, the standard course of action would be to address your immediate manager. Bypassing them is a direct challenge to their authority. If your manager isn't actually antagonistic but simply lacks assertiveness, I would still suggest escalating the matter through them. Remain firm and insistent, but maintain respect and professionalism. If they're indeed unassertive, reducing your workload might be the simplest solution for them, enabling them to avoid the issue.

Now, if your problem stems from a hostile work environment and you're faced with issues such as bullying, the situation becomes far more complex. In this case, your options are either to tolerate it, look for a new job, or file a complaint with upper management. However, don't expect immediate solutions. If you choose this path, you must be prepared to potentially lose your job and for your work environment to become even more hostile.


An important thing to remember here is the person you are reporting your manager to likely chose your manager for that role so by reporting them it can be taken as an insult to the person from upper management and right or wrong that may not be taken well.

  • by this theory no-one would ever report any wrongdoing ever. Everyone was hired by someone. If I hired someone who did wrong, I would want to be told. Don't go above me and tell my boss I've hired a bad one; but for sure tell me. Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 15:57

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