SURVEY SAYS: How Much Are You Managed?

September 30, 2013 ( – Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, does your manager supervise you too much, too little or just the right amount, and does he or she set the “tone” at your workplace?

The responses indicate that most responding readers are pleased with their managers and the tone of their work environment. Two-thirds (66.1%) said they are supervised at just the right amount. Only 9.7% indicated they are supervised way too much, and 8.1% said they are supervised a little too much. On the other extreme, 11.3% reported they are supervised somewhat too little and 4.8% said they are supervised way too little.

Slightly less than one-third (31.1%) said their managers do set the tone for workplace, and it’s always positively, while only 6.6% indicated their managers set the tone for the workplace, always negatively. According to 31.1% of respondents, their managers do not set the tone at their workplaces. Few have managers who set the tone only when they are feeling negative (1.6%) or only when they are feeling positive (4.9%). One-quarter of responding readers (24.6%) reported their managers set the tone for the workplace and whether it’s positively or negatively depends on his or her mood.

Most of those who chose to make verbatim comments described frustrating workplaces, and some explained it’s not just the manager, but other employees who set the tone for the work environment. Some readers are not managed very much, but said that is the right amount for them. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “My manager used to be a micromanager because he had a couple of employees who he couldn’t trust to do their jobs properly. Now that there have been some changes, he trusts everyone here and, therefore, doesn’t micromanage anymore. Funny how that works…”


If "expectations" are the tone, then yes, the manager sets it. But we all just do our work and enjoy each other's company!


My manager will only talk to people on the team if she likes them. She avoids people she doesn't like and condones this behavior of other people on the team.


Micromanagement, inability to trust, overblown legal risk aversion, and mixed communications messages characterize my work place


My manager is based in a different (neighboring) state. We see each other face-to-face only a few times a week. We talk on the phone several times during the week -- sometimes more than once a day, sometimes not for a few days. I know what I have to do; he knows what I'm working on. He is good about connecting to me when he has time, but the "tone" is really more about how I feel about my own work, not really set by external forces, given my current arrangement.


My manager has too many non-work related things on her mind, and she doesn't have the skills it takes to be a manager. She was "given" the job when a prior position she was in was eliminated. Not the way to hire a manager!


Very moody - never know what he is going to be like one day to the next.


I have a great boss which I am grateful for since I have had one who only needed a broom to verify she was a witch.


My manager micromanages so closely she has even completed my work for me. I continue; however, to fight the good fight which really upsets her and makes for some interestingly tense moments.....


My manager is very good and not what most of the other managers are like. It will be ugly when he retires.


I don't think managers fully appreciate the impact they have on such things; I know I haven't always because from the perspective of the manager, you can't always see the difference. And you sure can't tell how different it is - for good or ill- when you're not IN the office.

Verbatim (cont.)

I know just how lucky I am!


My supervisor leads by example, works extremely hard & long yet always has time for her employees and is always calm, cool & collected.


I don't really see or talk with my manager unless I have an issue to discuss, and I am fine with that. He definitely doesn't set the tone in the office; the tone is set more by the individuals who have others doing their work or talk all day. It puts a damper on the rest of us who work hard and get the job done, but nothing is ever done about it. So, by that account, perhaps my supervisor indirectly sets the tone.


Not even sure why I have a "supervisor".


We have our third CEO in less than two years and this one is only temporary. Too bad we cannot keep him -- he is fantastic and always sets just the right tone.


Still amazes me how the sound of someone's walk (or stomp), the color of their face, or approach to your desk can set the mood of an entire office in an instant!


I am managed by one of the two principals of the firm. They are yin and yang to each other in many ways, but both set a tone of honesty and excellence.


When you've done relationship management for 22 years and you know how to do the job, there really isn't much that the boss can add by supervising my work.


Very little interaction and disciplining workers while good ones get thrown in. Very negative!


Management is so fixated on the numbers that we are too busy tracking what we do to actually get anything done. Because my manager has never done my job and is not familiar with our systems she has no clue how difficult it is to get things done when you have to track everything on several different sites.

Verbatim (cont.)

I've had the gamut; this is my best by far!


All senior management staff work very long hours but not all subordinates do. It is expected that you will put in the time to get the work done. Some folks do come in on the weekends because during the week you're assisting others, and after hours or on the weekend you catch up on your own work. If my manager is setting the "tone" for our workplace, there are staff who are apparently tone deaf.


If you're one of the favorites, you can do just about anything; if you're anyone else, beware. Some people are overloaded with work, others walk around and chat with people all the time, others sit back in their chairs and talk/text on their cell phones all day.... Never used to be his way, very sad....


My manager used to be a micromanager because he had a couple of employees who he couldn't trust to do their jobs properly. Now that there have been some changes, he trusts everyone here and, therefore, doesn't micromanage anymore. Funny how that works...


Our HR Director sets the tone...can we say micro-management to the "comma" level? There is a saying that, I believe describes our circumstances pretty darn accurately: The pursuit of perfection prevents progress. "nuff said.


My manager is on the other side of the country.


My manager lives in Florida and visits us four times per year. Just the right supervision.



NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.