Quarter of workers reckon they are better managers than their boss

Aug 21 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Nearly a quarter of workers believe they would be able to do a better job of managing than their boss, with one in three desperate to swap their boss if they could, according to a new British poll.

Men (25 per cent), the Investors in People survey found, were more confident of their ability to outdo their current boss than women (18 per cent).

Poor communication by managers was the most common complaint among workers, with nearly one in three saying their manager was not good at communicating with them.

Honesty was ranked second, but, again, nearly a fifth of employees believed their manager had, at some stage, claimed credit for their work.

The most popular type of manager was someone who delegated, followed by someone who was firm but fair and someone who looked after their employees' careers.

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of Investors in People in the 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 employees' role to the organisation's overall mission," she added.

"Managers should also take note of the messages around delegation, remaining firm but fair, and the importance of looking after their people's careers.

"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 organisation, managers can ensure their staff give their all in a way that will sustain productivity and the success of their organisation well into the future," she concluded.

Long-term employees were considerably less happy with their managers than newer recruits, the poll found, with nearly three quarters of new recruits claiming to be happy with their bosses Ė a figure that dropped to 67 per cent after three years with the same organisation and 62 per cent after six years.

Long-term employees also felt this malaise so strongly that they were almost twice as likely to want to change their manager as their new colleagues (37 per cent against 20 per cent).

Employees in larger organisations were more likely to want to change their manager, too.

More than a third of those working at a organisation with more than 1,000 staff would like a new boss, compared with only 24 per cent in companies with up to 50 employees.

The longer an employee stayed at an organisation, the more highly they valued their manager's honesty, the survey also found.