• Workers who interact more frequently with their boss give higher grades
• One in four workers say their boss communicates via text message or instant message
• More than 1 in 5 workers say their boss asks them to do things unrelated to their job
A bad boss is a classic cause of grief at the workplace, but just how common are they? According to a new CareerBuilder survey, a majority of workers think their boss is doing an above-average job. Asked to evaluate their bosses’ performance, more than 6 in 10 (63 percent) U.S. workers say their manager deserves an “A” or a “B” while 1 in 7 would assign a “D” or “F” (14 percent).
Additionally, about four in ten workers (39 percent) say they are friends with their boss.
The nationwide survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 10 to March 4, 2014, and included a representative sample of 3,022 full-time, private sector workers across industries and company sizes.
Making the Grade
A plurality of workers give their boss a “B” and about 1 in 4 assign a “C”:
A: 24 percent
B: 39 percent
C: 23 percent
D: 9 percent
F: 5 percent
Grades appear to be aligned with bosses’ communication and management styles. Workers who interact more frequently with their bosses tend to rate their performance better than those who keep their distance. Thirty-one percent of workers who interact several times a day in person with their boss assign them an “A” compared to just 17 percent of workers who interact with their boss once a day or less.
The study also showed a correlation between positive ratings of bosses and open communication even if that communication doesn’t take place in person. Twenty-five percent of workers say their boss typically communicates with them via text or instant message. Of those employees, 30 percent assign an “A” to their boss’s performance.
“Managers who interact frequently and communicate directly are more likely to have the support of their employees. The ideal form of that communication will vary from individual to individual, but everyone’s jobs get done better when expectations and roles are clearly defined,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “The best managers understand the triggers for their workers’ success and are able to course correct when productivity drops or conflict arises.”
“That’s Not What I Signed Up For”: The Most Unusual Boss Requests
There is one way, however, bosses can quickly lose workers’ trust: giving tasks well outside the job description. Twenty-two percent of employees say their current boss asks them do things unrelated to their jobs, and unsurprisingly, 51 percent of those employees give their bosses grades of “C” or worse.
The following are real requests bosses asked of their employees, as shared by survey respondents.
· Asked employee to coach other employees on how to pass a drug test
· Asked employee to fire a colleague and then drive them home
· Asked for employee’s opinions of Tinder profiles
· Asked employee to order items on personal Amazon account so boss’s spouse wouldn't know about it
· Asked employee to pluck a client's unibrow for a photo shoot
· Asked that employees “Like” his Facebook videos
· Asked if employee would be better friends with him
· Asked employee to find out how to obtain death certificate for her deceased ex-husband
· Asked employee to commiserate with daughter-in-law about the death of her cat
· Asked employee to climb on roof to see if there were any dead birds
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,022 workers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 10 and March 4, 2014 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,022, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.78 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.
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