Third of workers don't rate their boss

Oct 17 2007 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Think you're a good leader? Think again. A damning new survey has estimated that more than a third of workers don't rate their boss as a leader, with only slightly fewer believing they are not qualified to do their job.

The poll of more than 200 U.S. workers by e-learning firm SkillSoft paints a grim picture of managers left high and dry by a lack in leadership and management training trying to get the most out of teams that become increasingly frustrated and resentful.

Worryingly for managers, this was not a poll of brash young whippersnappers either.

More than eight out of 10 of those polled were under 50 yet more than 40 per cent had also been working in their field for more than a decade, and six out of 10 had been with their employer for more than three years.

More than 35 per cent of the employees polled did not consider their boss a leader and 30 per cent did not think they were qualified to do their job.

Managers working in IT-related industries came off best, with nearly two thirds of employees rating their skills and leadership, dropping to half of employees in sales and marketing.

"Managers are likely to receive little or no guidance in developing strong leadership skills," said John Ambrose, senior vice-president of strategy, corporate development & emerging business for SkillSoft.

He urged employers to spend more time, money and effort on corporate training programmes, whether through e-learning or some other type of delivery mode.

By making resources available, managers were able to acquire the leadership skills required to guide, nurture and inspire their staff, he argued.

The result was a more knowledgeable, effective and motivated organisation, he stressed.

"Management training is an integral component for enhancing employee productivity, improving job satisfaction, reducing employee turnover and maintaining agility in the workforce," Ambrose added.

It's not just Americans who have a low opinion of their bosses, either. A poll in August by the employers' group Investors in People found almost half of British workers thought their bosses were incompetent, lacked confidence or were poor decision makers.