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A new boss, please, say one-third of employees

August 22 2006 - A new survey of 1700 adult employees in the UK shows that almost one-third of (31 per cent) would change their manager if they could. Nearly one in four (22 per cent) felt they could do a better job themselves, with men (25 per cent) more confident of their ability than women (18 per cent).

Conducted for Investors in People by YouGov, the survey highlights poor communication by managers as a major reason for employee dissatisfaction. Respondents identified 'ability to communicate effectively' as the most important quality for a successful manager, yet 32 per cent said their own manager was not good at communicating. Honesty was ranked as the second most important quality, but one in five (19 per cent) believed that their manager had claimed personal credit for work actually undertaken by the employee.

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of Investors in People (UK) said:

"The fact that almost a third of employees would like a new manager should make bosses sit up and take notice. With good communication ranked the most important quality of a good boss, managers need to focus their efforts on setting clear tasks and targets for their staff, and linking an employee's role to the organization's overall mission."

The survey also finds that the most popular type of manager is someone who delegates (43 per cent), is firm but fair (24 per cent), and looks after employees' careers (11 per cent).

Ruth Spellman continued:

"This is vital information in helping managers better understand how to keep staff motivated and delivering effectively. By entrusting employees with more responsibility, and mapping out a path for progression within an organization, managers can ensure their staff give their all in a way that will sustain productivity and the success of their organization well into the future."

Further key findings from the survey include:

  • Long-term employees are considerably less happy with their managers than colleagues who have been in their jobs for less than a year. Nearly three-quarters of new recruits (74 per cent) claimed to be happy with their bosses; this dropped to 67 per cent after three years with the same organization and 62 per cent after six years. Long-term employees are almost twice as likely to want to change their manager as their newer colleagues (37 per cent compared to 20 per cent).
  • Employees in larger organizations are more likely to want to change their manager. Nearly one-third (31 per cent) of those working in an organization with over 1000 staff would like a new boss. This figure reduces along with the size of organization and is 24 per cent in companies with up to 50 employees.
  • Long-term employees are more likely to value their manager's honesty. Some 85 per cent of those who have worked for the same organization for more than 10 years rate this quality as very important compared to only 70 per cent of new recruits.


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