In the corporate world, everyone reports to someone. And in this trickle-down system, employees lower on the food chain (so to speak) don’t typically dictate what they want their bosses to do – unless it’s with friends during post-work drinks.
Now, a nationwide survey from human-resources software company BambooHR gives workers a chance to air those grievances. Hopefully management is paying attention.
The company polled more than 1,000 workers based in the United States about their bosses’ worst behavior, from 1 (“completely acceptable”) to 5 (“deal breaker that would make you want to quit”). The results “show the number-one trait employees can’t stand is when their bosses take credit for their work.”
A running theme throughout the survey is trust and recognition. The other top-four gripes included: Your boss doesn’t appear to trust or empower you; your boss doesn’t appear to care if you’re overworked; your boss doesn’t appear to advocate for you when it comes to monetary compensation (wages/salary/bonuses); and your boss hires and/or promotes the wrong people.
“Non-managers tend to feel more strongly about the top issues than managers,” according to BambooHR. For example, they revealed that 75% of non-managers found bosses taking credit for work to be “not at all acceptable” or “a deal breaker that would make them want to quit” compared to 52% of managers. “Your boss doesn’t appear to trust or empower you” earned a 72% to 53% non-manager/manager split; and “your boss doesn’t appear to care if you’re overworked” was a top source of ire among 68% of non-managers compared to 48% for managers.
Maybe managers care less about these issues because they understand how hard it is to be the boss. Or maybe in more senior roles, they’re less concerned about trust and recognition.
BambooHR also analyzed differences between men and women. The top gripes by gender were:
When BambooHR flipped things around to see which boss behaviors were not viewed as negatively, women tended to find it “very acceptable” or “completely acceptable” if bosses refused to connect with them on social media; 69% of them were A-okay with not receiving a friend request compared to 59% of men. Furthermore, “your boss doesn’t like to spend time together with his/her employees outside of work” was fine with 58% of women, compared to 49% of men.
Bottom line: If feel you feel like your boss doesn’t have your back, you’re not imagining things and aren’t alone. If you want your employees to stick around, champion their work and give them credit for their successes.