Workers Grade Bosses, Share Unusual Requests

CHICAGO -- A bad boss is a classic cause of grief in the workplace, but just how common are they? Some 63% of U.S. workers say their managers deserve grades of A or B and only 14% would assign a D or an F, finds a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.

Nearly two in five, or 39%, said they are friends with their bosses, CareerBuilder learned.

Among respondents, 24% gave their boss an A, 39% a B, 23% a C, 9% a D and 5% an F.

Grades appear to be aligned with bosses' communication with employees. Some 31% of workers who interact in person several times a day with their boss gave them an A compared to just 17% of workers who interact once a day or less often.

The study also found a correlation between positive ratings and open communication even if that communication doesn't take place in person; 25% say their boss typically communicates with them via text or instant message. Of those employees, 30% gave their bosses an A.

"Managers who interact frequently and communicate directly are more likely to have the support of their employees," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, in a prepared statement. "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. The best managers understand the triggers for their workers' success and are able to course correct when productivity drops or conflict arises."

There is one way, however, that bosses can lose workers' trust quickly: assigning tasks well outside the job description. About 22% of employees say their current boss asks them do things unrelated to their jobs, and unsurprisingly, 51% of those employees give their bosses grades of C or worse.  

The following are real requests bosses asked of their employees, as shared by survey respondents:

  • Asked an employee to coach other employees on how to pass a drug test.
  • Asked an employee to fire a colleague and then drive the employee home.
  • Asked an employee to order items on his personal Amazon account so boss' spouse wouldn't know about it
  • Asked the employee to pluck a client's unibrow for a photo shoot.
  • Asked employees to "Like" his Facebook videos.
  • Asked an employee to find out how to obtain a death certificate for her deceased former husband.
  • Asked an employee to commiserate with daughter-in-law about the death of her cat.
  • Asked an employee to climb on roof to see if there were any dead birds.


Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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