US workers left cold by their leaders

Sep 16 2008 by Nic Paton Print This Article

You could hardly get a more damning criticism. Nearly half of U.S workers don't rate the "C-suite" leaders within their organisation, with their immediate line manager playing a much more important role when it comes to leadership and motivation.

A poll of more than 8,700 workers by recruitment website found that 45 per cent of workers "did not feel secure" in the C-level leadership of their organisation.

And, while nearly two thirds were satisfied with the performance of their direct supervisor, just half felt the performance of their senior management was good or great.

More than half also said they did not feel motivated within their organisation and expressed a desire for more personal attention and development.

While bosses ranked higher when it came to overall character, they ranked lower in the rather more important attribute of leadership.

A worryingly high 73 per cent of workers categorised their boss as trustworthy, though a similar percentage also said their boss was respected in the organisation.

Also somewhat contradictorily, nearly two thirds felt their boss communicated effectively, yet half also said their boss failed to motivate them and failed to help them move ahead. Four out of 10 felt they did not learn anything from their bosses.

"As we function in an economy beleaguered by uncertainty and instability, communication and motivation at all levels of an organisation are imperative to weathering the storm," stressed Jason Ferrara, vice-president of corporate marketing at

"Leaders need to invest in the career development of workers and reinforce the value that employees bring to their business to create a healthy and open workplace culture," he added.

Nearly a third of workers surveyed said they felt they could do their boss's job better, while a quarter complained their boss often "played favourite".

A similar percentage said they failed to lead by example, while 14 per cent said he or she was never around and 13 per cent said they failed to provide feedback.

Of course, workers tended to have less visibility with senior management, which could account for the higher negative ratings, argued Career Builder.

Yet more than half felt their senior management made little or no effort to have working relationships with their employees on every level and nearly six out of 10 said their senior management failed to motivate them, it added.