October 16 is National Boss’s Day, an observance that begs the question: How happy are you with YOUR boss? Fortunately, many people are, according to a recent survey conducted by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service. The majority of workers surveyed (80 percent) said they’re happy with their bosses, and that is a number higher than I would have expected. However, it’s worth pointing out that 1 in 5 respondents gave their leaders less-than-stellar reviews.
There is a saying that a good boss gives you the tools you need to do the job, and then, for the most part, “gets out of the way.” I think there is a lot of truth to that statement. I’ve had my share of bosses in my 30 years’ in journalism – unfortunately, I would say precious few were what most people would term a “good boss.” Here is a brief synopsis of a few of the editors I’ve had:
The micromanager nitpicks at everything you do – even your best seldom seems good enough. This type of boss could be effective IF they knew how to lighten up a bit, and pat you on the back when it’s warranted, and not just criticize the things you DON’T do well. It’s one thing to tell an employee what they don’t do well – most of us need some useful feedback and suggestions on HOW to improve. Tip to this boss: Don’t just criticize, praise when warranted, and by all means, give the worker the resources to improve. Be a mentor, not a nitpicker.
The I-can-do-everything boss. The problem with this type of employer is that they are so poor at delegating tasks that their staff does not grow and develop, they’re never learning anything new. If you’re truly happy with the “same-old” routines, you might really like a manager like this. But if you’re serious about wanting to get better at your job, and I think that’s most of us, you’ll be bored, unmotivated, and ready to move on quite quickly. Tip to this boss: DELEGATE certain tasks, even if you can do them better! Your staff won’t learn if they’re not given a chance.
The ultimate delegator, conversely, goes too far the other way. This type of boss has no problem assigning you project, after project, after project, often with no real let up in sight. Even Vince Lombardi knew how to ease up on the throttle from time to time. Even a pat on the back doesn’t help much, because what you need isn’t so much a “good job,” it’s a …”Good job, take the afternoon off to play some golf!” Tip to this boss: Don’t just assign work – lead by example. And when a boss is a great leader, most people don’t mind working hard (at least most of the time).
This is not to say I’ve never had a good boss! One editor, in particular, encouraged you to always want to improve at your job, mentor you, pat you on the back, be a friend when you needed one. A rare breed sometimes.
Back to the OfficeTeam poll: Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) feel their manager is a good leader, and about one-third consider their boss a mentor (37 percent) and friend (34 percent). But not everyone shares these sentiments: Nearly a quarter of workers (23 percent) said their supervisor is a micromanager, and 16 percent went as far as saying they are incompetent. View an infographic about how professionals rank their bosses.
“An employee’s working relationship with the boss has a significant impact on their job satisfaction and career success,” said Stephanie Naznitsky, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Professionals are more engaged and productive in their roles when they’re given some autonomy on projects and report to managers they can trust and learn from.”
OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit roberthalf.com/officeteam.