Monthly Archives: November 2016
In their relationships with their bosses, most employees keep it strictly professional, new research finds.
A study from the staffing firm Accountemps revealed that 61 percent of workers said they while they work well with their bosses and have mutual respect for one another, they wouldn’t consider themselves friends outside of the office. Just 23 percent of the workers surveyed said they are friends with their managers.
A small group of workers said not only are they not friends, but they barely have any connection with their bosses. The research found that 13 percent described their relationships as distant, with 3 percent saying they have no relationship at all.
“The employee-manager relationship is a two-way street, and both parties play a role in the dynamic,” Bill Driscoll, district president for Accountemps, said in a statement. “The best relationships are built on strong communication combined with mutual trust and respect.”
Overall, 64 percent of workers in the survey said they are generally happy with their current bosses. Just 8 percent of those surveyed said they are totally dissatisfied with the person they work for.
Despite the good vibes most workers said they have with their bosses, managers could improve these relationships even more, survey respondents said. Specifically, 37 percent of employees said they want better communication from their managers, with 31 percent saying they want their supervisors to recognize them more for their efforts. Other areas employees would like to see their bosses work on include helping the workers progress in their careers, listening, standing up for them in difficult situations and promoting work-life balance, the research showed.
The study discovered that most workers recognize how hard it is to be in charge and would rather not deal with that stress and the added responsibilities. Nearly 70 percent of the employees surveyed said they don’t aspire their bosses’ jobs.
“Managers can sometimes get a bad rap, but in reality, most professionals understand that the job is tough and complex and may not be for everyone,” Driscoll said. “The challenge for many bosses today isn’t just identifying a successor, but convincing that professional to step up to the challenge.”
Accountemps offered several tips to both bosses and employees for strengthening their relationships:
Manager: Set clear expectations for employees and create an environment where they feel comfortable coming to you with questions and concerns. It is important to remember that in order to be a good communicator, you need to be a good listener.
Employee: Ask your boss for clarification if you don’t know what they expect from you, and be open to constructive feedback. Also, take advantage of any professional development opportunities that can boost your communication skills.
Manager: Spend time creating a career-path plan for each of your employees. Go over the plan with them and highlight specific milestones they need to reach in order to stay on their desired track. Let your employees know how you and the company will help them reach those milestones.
Employees: Don’t be afraid to initiate career-path discussions with your boss. Find out where you need to improve in order to reach your goals.
Manager: To keep your employees happy and eager to stay with your organization, you need to show your gratitude for a job well done. Don’t just let them know how happy you are with their performance; be sure to announce their accomplishments to the rest of your team, too.
Employees: Keep your manager apprised of all of the work you’re doing and what you have achieved. Also, don’t just wait for praise to come your way. Compliment others when you see them doing a good job.
Manager: See what types of flexible scheduling you can offer your employees. In addition, see if there are any on-site perks, such as gyms and free meals, that will help employees achieve the work-life balance they strive for.
Employees: Don’t hesitate to tell your boss when you feel overworked. Many managers will find ways to take a little bit off your plate.
As a business owner or manager, it’s important to practice what you preach. If you require employees to be available 24/7 while you’re MIA, or you’re constantly texting on the job while you prohibit employees from using their phones, for example, your hypocritical behavior is sending the wrong message to employees, and they may resent you for it.
Researchers from the University of Missouri (MU) looked at some of the retail industry’s 15.7 million employees and found that these types of inconsistencies in corporate policies and managerial behavior — “corporate hypocrisy,” as they call it — often decimates employee morale and, in turn, leaves a negative impression on customers.
“When [frontline retail employees] experience corporate hypocrisy, they have some visceral feelings,” said Saheli Goswami, one of the researchers and a doctoral student in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. “These impressions have a high chance of being translated from employees to the customers as the retail employees experience corporate hypocrisy,” Goswami told Business News Daily.
Over time, unchecked corporate hypocrisy could lead to fewer sales, she added.
Goswami and Jung Ha-Brookshire, an associate professor of textile and apparel management and associate dean for research in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences, focused their research on the retail industry because they expected to find a higher prevalence of corporate hypocrisy there as they developed and refined their definition.
“[R]etail stores have part-time employees, so the company and manager are more likely to think of them as replaceable,” Ha-Brookshire said. “The problem is that these employees interact with consumers all the time, and when consumers have a negative interaction, they tend to say they don’t like that store or won’t visit that brand anymore.”
Although the retail industry was the focus of this particular study, the researchers said their findings extend across industries. Entrepreneurs and managers should be wary of the impacts of inconsistent behavior and policies on both their employees and customer base in order to avoid lost business, the researchers said.
“Retail employees can easily transfer their impressions to customers,” Goswami said. “But in any other industry — say, finance — if I see my company, or even immediate supervisor, behaving hypocritically … I have access to share my perceptions beyond consumers. Because of … [websites like] Glassdoor, these perceptions definitely impact other industries.”
Goswami and Ha-Brookshire said future research will include other industries and more thoroughly investigate the effect of corporate hypocrisy on employee turnover and overall productivity. Their initial hypothesis: Corporate hypocrisy is a drag on business across the board.
So, when you’re crafting company policies or just supervising day-to-day workflow, it’s important to hold yourself to the same standards as your employees. Moreover, make sure any changes, along with the rationale for the shift, are clearly communicated to your employees; the key is to make sure they feel appreciated and kept in the loop.
“Employees, including those who perceive hypocrisy, and the managers need to have a good idea about the corporate culture,” Goswami said. “What is the organization about? What are their goals? What are their strategies? I might not agree with a practice or a goal, but that’s something I [as an employee] need to be aware of, so my expectations are adjusted accordingly.”
Enhancing managerial training beyond a simple task-based focus is also key, the researchers said. Including moral and ethical considerations in both the training and hiring of executives and managers would protect against contradictions that could dampen employee morale and future sales, they said.
What’s the secret to employee happiness and retention? According to new research, it’s as simple as trusting your team members.
A study from PayScale revealed that the more employees feel like their bosses trust them, the happier they are and the less likely they are to look for a new job.
The research found that 72 percent of workers who are able to act and make decisions on their own said they are satisfied in their jobs. Just 26 percent of employees who aren’t able to anything without being told first said they are similarly happy
In addition, just 54 percent of workers who are trusted by their employers said they plan to look for new jobs within the next six months. Conversely, 76 percent of those whose bosses don’t have any confidence in them to act on their own said they expect to pursue new jobs in the coming months.
The research reinforces a number of key organizational issues regarding job satisfaction and loyalty, said Katie Bardaro, vice president of data analytics and lead economist for PayScale.
“In all environments — professional and personal — trust is a required element for the creation of productive relationships,” Bardaro said in a statement. “This report shows manager trust is a crucial ingredient when it comes to ensuring engaged and devoted employees.”
The good news is that nearly 85 percent of U.S. employees said their managers trust them to act and make decisions in some capacity, with just 1 percent saying their bosses do not trust them to do anything at all until they are told what to do.
Experience and salary appear to correlate with how much employees are trusted by their supervisors. The study found that 85 percent of those with annual incomes of more than $160,000 said they have managers who fully trust them, while only 63 percent of workers who make less than $19,000 said they have similar relationships with their bosses.
Not surprisingly, the more experience employees have, the more their supervisors are likely to trust them. Just 59 percent of those who have been working less than two years said their managers trust them, compared to 76 percent of workers with more than 10 years of experience.
The study’s authors said the research has implications for both employees and employers.
“For workers, build that trust with your manager; it’ll lead to happiness at work and potentially a higher salary,” the study’s authors wrote. “Employers, if you want to keep your employees, trust them. They’ll be more likely to be happy in their job and less likely to leave for another one.”