Not What I Signed Up For

June 24, 2014 ( – A new survey by CareerBuilder shows a quick way for a boss to lose an employee's trust is by assigning the employee tasks far outside his or her job description.

Twenty-two percent of employees who responded to the survey say their current boss asks them do things unrelated to their jobs.

Some of these unusual requests from bosses include asking employees to:

  • Coach other employees on how to pass a drug test;
  • Fire a colleague and then drive them home;
  • Give their opinion of Tinder profiles;
  • Order items on their personal Amazon account so boss’ spouse wouldn’t know about it;
  • Pluck a client’s unibrow for a photo shoot;
  • Click “Like” for his Facebook videos;
  • To be better friends with him or her;
  • Find out how to obtain a death certificate for her deceased ex-husband;
  • Commiserate with daughter-in-law about the death of her cat; and
  • Climb on roof to see if there were any dead birds there.

The survey also asked how employees would grade their bosses. Most gave their boss a “B” (39%) and about one in four (23%) gave their boss a “C.” Twenty-four percent gave their boss an “A,” 9% a “D” and 5% an “F.”

Grades appear to be aligned with bosses’ communication and management styles, according to the survey results. Employees who interact more frequently with their bosses tend to rate their performance better than those who keep their distance. Thirty-one percent of employees who interact several times a day in person with their boss gave their bosses an “A,” compared with just 17% of employees who interact with their boss once a day or less.

The survey also shows a correlation between positive ratings of bosses and open communication even if that communication doesn’t take place in person. Twenty-five percent of employees say their boss typically communicates with them via text or instant message. Of those employees, 30% gave an “A” to their boss’ performance.

“Managers who interact frequently and communicate directly are more likely to have the support of their employees. The ideal form of that communication will vary from individual to individual, but everyone’s jobs get done better when expectations and roles are clearly defined,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, based in Chicago. “The best managers understand the triggers for their workers’ success and are able to course correct when productivity drops or conflict arises.”

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll, on behalf of CareerBuilder, among 3,022 full-time workers ages 18 and older between February 10 and March 4.