When asked why they disliked their managers, 41% cited a lack of recognition, while 40% said they felt overworked.
Vlatka Hlupic, Professor of Business and Management at Westminster University, management consultant and author of The Management Shift said the results were unsurprising. “In this country, the majority of managers receive little or no training in how to manage and get the best out of their people.”
Hlupic argued that the common business focus on processes, procedures and results ignored the human dimension of work and productivity. “We are, after all, social beings with the need for soft skills such as encouragement, appreciation and achievement. If a boss denies these fundamental needs – even if the financial rewards are great – most employees will be quick to look elsewhere.”
It’s not that employees don’t want to get along with their boss either. The survey found that nearly three-quarters (74%) said getting along with their boss helped boost their motivation and a third said a good relationship with their boss was even more important than job satisfaction.
Unfortunately for those poor employees who lack a good relationship with their line manager or section head, bosses are unlikely to improve anytime soon. A 2014 report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development revealed that the quality of managers had not improved over the last decade.
Most people go to work for the social dimension, the stimulation and sense of achievement it offers, remarked Hlupic. “Poor managers may have little understanding of these human drivers and focus on the more mechanistic aspects of work productivity. By contrast, a manager with good social intelligence and an empowering management style will develop a loyal following and a more productive team.”
Managers often get promoted for their technical ability, remarked Hlupic. “However, they don’t get adequate management training in softer skills.” She believes there are several ways that organizations can develop managers with better soft skills. “It’s about changing the mind-set of managers and changing the organizational culture. Managers can facilitate informal networks and embed a culture of learning and sharing within the organization. It’s about developing trust within your team and tolerating mistakes as people will not be innovative if they’re not allowed to experiment. It’s also about focusing on the higher purpose of organization and aligning that with the individual purpose of employees.”
By Karen Higginbottom