How Popular Is Your Boss?

Office bosses as a group tend to get a bad rap – but recent research shows most people have nothing but nice things to say about the folks in charge.

How Popular Is Your Boss? Photo (cc) by Lplatebigcheese

Maybe it’s the economy. Or maybe all the unhappy people got laid off. Heck, maybe people just lied.

Whatever the case, two new surveys conducted for last week’s National Boss Day asked employees about their superiors, and most said the boss was a pretty likable guy or gal.

The first, a study by OfficeTeam, found two-thirds of workers don’t believe they could outdo their boss, and more than three-quarters don’t want the top job. The people most likely to gun for it? Know-it-all young people, of course – 35 percent of those aged 18 to 34 wanted the executive leather chair.

The other study, conducted by Adecco, found most employees believe their boss would stick up for them: 78 percent said their managers would “go to bat” on their behalf to help them keep their jobs. And that apparently translates into a certain level of loyalty, because 59 percent “think their boss is great and wouldn’t change a thing,” given the chance.

Here’s another interesting tidbit: Offered the chance to ask the boss any question, the most popular response was not, “How much do you make?” It was, “Are you passionate about your job?” But the survey admits compensation was a more popular answer among those making under $75,000, who were twice as likely as better-paid workers to ask about money.

Despite all the boss love, the Adecco survey shows there are still pretty strong boundaries in place between work and play. Nearly 43 percent think seeing a movie with the boss or going on a double-date with the boss and his/her significant other would be painfully awkward. The most uncomfortable topics of conversation include relationships, politics, and health – although 0 percent said they were shy about discussing their age with their boss and just 5 percent wouldn’t talk about weight.

So how do you earn loyalty like a boss? The OfficeTeam survey identified seven leadership traits…

  1. Integrity. Top managers are ethical. Surprised?
  2. Sound judgment. Good managers have good reasons for the tough choices they make.
  3. Diplomacy. Smart managers know they look good when everybody else looks good, and always praise employees for strong efforts. They’re also tactful. What’s the old phrase? “Praise in public, critique in private.”
  4. Adaptability. Leaders have to handle weird situations all the time, and those who can think on their feet and encourage the team to do the same stand out.
  5. Strong communication. Managers have a plan and keep everybody in the loop on it.
  6. Good listening skills. People who want to be the boss think they have to know everything. Those who lead recognize they don’t have all the answers, and pay attention to employee input.
  7. Influence. Strong managers work well enough with most people to create networks and build support behind their ideas.

What do you think about your boss? Share your (family-friendly) thoughts on our Facebook page. You may want to check out 8 Tips to Be a Better Boss or if you’re one of those wondering about the boss’ pay, try 3 Steps to Get the Raise You Deserve.

Brandon Ballenger
Brandon Ballenger @btballenger
I'm a freelance journalist living in South Florida. If I'm not writing, I'm playing video games or at the beach. My favorite spice is oregano, and I thought you should know. I ... More


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