Gallup‘s often-quoted findings that about half of US employees have left a company because of a bad boss was put to the test by Benjamin Artz, Amanda H. Goodall and Andrew J Oswald.  They wanted to test how common bad bosses were.  They did so by mining a global database of ratings of bosses by 27,000 randomly sampled employees from 35 different countries.

The quality of one’s immediate boss is empirically both a key determinant of job satisfaction and individual performance.

Participants in the survey were asked to rate their immediate boss on seven criteria:

  • Provides useful feedback on your work.
  • Respects you as a person.
  • Gives you praise and recognition when you do a good job.
  • Is helpful in getting the job done.
  • Encourages and supports your development.
  • Is successful in getting people to work together.
  • Helps and supports workers.

When I’ve had bosses that I rated highly on those seven criteria, work was a dream.

Back to the research – the good news: about 13% of bosses received a perfect score on the seven areas. On the other hand, overall ratings indicate that 13% had a ‘bad boss’ when they completed the survey.

They also found that:

  • People who are bosses themselves tend to rate their own boss more highly than those without such responsibility, perhaps reflecting an appreciation of the challenges of leading.
  • In organisations where bosses are more highly rated, workers have higher levels of job satisfaction. Good bosses, happy workers, good performance, it doesn’t get much better than that!
  • Another interesting, perhaps surprising, finding was that bad bosses were rated ‘best’ on ‘respect for workers’ and ‘worst’ on their ability to get the job done; they’re not so much inconsiderate as incompetent.

Leadership fads might come and go, yet these seven criteria provide a simple way to measure leadership quality. Performance and satisfaction follow.

You can also read more about the challenges of leadership in my article.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how be more inclusive and help your team to higher performance don’t hesitate to reach out to me – let’s set up a confidential free discovery call so that I can support you on the journey.

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