Employees Believe Managers Set Good Example

October 15, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A new survey shows that the majority of U.S. workers believe their managers set a good example for behavior in the workplace.

The 2013 Kronos Boss’s Day Survey found that 69% of employees who have managers believe that their managers set a good example in the way they behave, agreeing they possess qualities such as being ethical, honest, collaborative, creative, empowering, innovative, dedicated and trustworthy. Almost all employees (92%) who believe this to be true, also believe their managers adhere to such values on a regular basis.

“The results of this survey shatter the stereotype of the clownish boss made popular by countless sitcoms and movies,” said David Creelman, CEO of Creelman Research. “An overwhelming majority of employees are actually saying quite the opposite. They believe their managers set a good example with their behavior and adhere to values that are important in a healthy corporate culture.”

The survey was done in connection with the occurrence of Boss’s Day—when employees thank their bosses for being kind and fair throughout the year—which is celebrated on October 16. In addition to the United States, surveys were also conducted in India and Australia. Results showed that employees agreed that good managers are honest (78%, 76% and 66% in the U.S., Australia, and India) and goal-oriented (44%, 37% and 63%, respectively).

India and Australia also selected thoughtful (41% and 37%, respectively) as their third in the top three important attributes for a manager to have. Australia and U.S. also selected being direct (37% and 39%) as additional characteristics of a good manager. The U.S. was the only country to indicate that compassion (40%) fell within their top-three choices as important attributes for good management.

Other findings showed that Indian employees with managers are more irritated by corporate jargon (95%) than their Australian (83%) and American (76%) counterparts. American employees were noted as disliking boss-related phrases such as “Think outside the box” (25%), “I don’t care how, just get it done” (24%) and “It’s on my radar” (19%).

In addition, Indian employees (46%) admitted they have complimented their manager just to get on their good side. Only 18% of American respondents and 23% of Australian respondents said the same.

“One of the interesting aspects of this survey is that U.S. employees would choose a high-performing and demanding boss over a nice but ineffective one,” said Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group Inc. “In the same vein, they’d prefer a manager who invests in their professional development over one who invests in making a fun working environment. Employees are saying they don’t need their boss to be their best friend, rather it’s important to them that they are able to work effectively, be challenged, and grow.”

When asked whether they’d prefer a manager who invests in their professional development or one who invests in programs to make the work environment more fun, 61% of U.S. employees chose professional development, while only 39% chose fun.

The surveys were conducted online within the United States, by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kronos Incorporated, from September 24 to 26, 2013, among 2,041 adults who were age 18 and older, 809 of whom are employed full or part-time, and have managers. In Australia and India, the surveys were conducted among 2,100 adults between ages 18 and 64, among whom 1,411 are employed full or part-time, and have managers.

The Workforce Institute was founded by Kronos Incorporated as a think tank to provide research and education on critical workplace issues. Kronos Incorporated is a global provider of work force management solutions such as controlling labor costs, minimizing compliance risk, and improving work force productivity.