Kind, thoughtful bosses are better for the office than more intelligent, less personable ones

AURORA, Ill. — Behind every successful company is good management. Unfortunately in the U.S., effective managers seem to be harder to come by in the workplace. One new survey analyzing the experiences American professionals have with their bosses finds that 85% would quit if their higher-ups were unpleasant.

A recently-published study from Gallup reports that at least half of those in the American workplace do their virtual or in-office jobs in a mundane fashion that doesn’t exceed expectations, a concept called “quiet quitting.” This may be rooted in different things, such as a worker feeling a lack of purpose in their work or a boss that isn’t effective in helping their employee feel purposeful.

In this survey, commissioned by Quality Products Logo, 1,000 professionals were included to understand these factors better. Overall, the work reveals that two in three employees find the relationship with their boss to be the most valuable one in the office. Moreover, three in five prefer a kind boss over a competent one.

According to the responses, the best bosses treat employees fairly and communicate effectively. Conversely, the worst bosses micromanage, poorly communicate, and look down upon employees.

Delving into the aspects that make up a good boss, employees find management, interpersonal communication, and feedback styles to be the most crucial qualities. This means that employees care more about their manager is rather than the knowledge and expertise that they possess.

This checks out with responses from employees when asked what they want to see from their boss. Over 90% said that fair treatment was ranked as most important. Clear communication, respect of opinion, thoughtful listening, and ability to give constructive criticism were 2nd-5th in ranks, respectively.

Communication has been a recurring theme for what employees look for in a desirable boss. It’s the same thing when it comes to what sets the best bosses apart from everyone else. In fact, it’s ranked first, with 53% of respondents choosing this. The other top factors were fair treatment, which appears to consistently tie for first with communication, and fostering an encouraging work environment was third.

Since fair treatment and thorough communication are the greatest things bosses can do for their employees, it’s clear that the doing the opposite creates significant issues. Employees overwhelmingly reported that the top trait that they dislike in a boss is being condescending.  Poor communication actually comes in second to that. When it comes to what separates the bad ones from the worst ones, bosses that disrupt the team environment and make it into an uncomfortable or hostile one are the number one offenders according to 45% of people.

Interestingly, among the rise of work-from-home, remote employees reported having better bosses overall. Is it the distance between them making the difference? Only 1 in 3 on-site employees reported that their bosses have solid communication and offer constructive feedback, while 4 in 10 hybrid and remote employees reported this.

These findings go to show that managers going an extra mile to show employees that they care helps them go the extra mile in their contribution to the company. Uniting everyone and fostering a positive work environment where everyone feels respected as individuals is likely the strongest defense against rising incidences of “quiet quitting.”

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About the Author

Shyla Cadogan, RD

Shyla Cadogan is a DMV-Based acute care Registered Dietitian. She holds specialized interests in integrative nutrition and communicating nutrition concepts in a nuanced, approachable way.

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