Thursday, January 11, 2007

Most People Hate Their Boss

Was a story in the Gleaner the other day which spoke to the fact that most bosses are hated by their employees.

From my personal experience it’s not been that I have hated my bosses (well not all of them) but that their primary mission in life seemed to be to make their employees’ lives miserable.

Why is this so?

I think it’s because too many inept people are put into places of power in the workplace, while the competent ones are left in jobs where they actually have to do something.

Think about it, what exactly does your manager do? For the most part, many of my managers have not had to do the same work as me but have had to only ‘manage.’ Now ‘managing’ is such a loose term. If you work in sales for instance and you and your colleagues are busy selling and your manager doesn’t sell anything but just manages you and you co-worker then he/she can’t have much to do each day unless you and you colleagues are complete idiots and need managing.

I think it would be best if managers were (a) extremely competent in their field and (b) still had to operate in their field. That way they wouldn’t have to fill their time with activities that make life miserable for the rank and file, in order to give themselves something to do and to justify their hierarchical superiority.


Mad Bull said...

That last bit was interesting... let me think on it and maybe I will be back to say some more on it...

Jerome Alexander said...

I am no world reknowned management expert like Deming or Drucker. I have no Phd, have conducted no scholary research or gathered statistics. My opinions are drawn from over thirty years in middle management. I am neither executive, consultant, nor belong to any elite institutions. I am, however, passionate about these views: Employees come to work with an implicit trust that their managers are always working for the best interest of the company and its employees. That trust should not and cannot ever be taken for granted. Look what is happening today. It is no longer "What's good for the company is good for the manager." It has become "What's good for the manager is good for the company." Top executives have totally lost sight of this phenomenon and are allowing managers to run amok in order to fulfill their own personal agendas.
Several years ago I wrote a book on the subject of bad bosses, workplace culture and employee morale. It is as relevant today as it was then. The premise of the book is that employee morale is directly linked to the interaction of employees with line managers who are charged with executing the policies and strategies of companies. Unfortunately, many of these managers subvert the good intentions of the organization to meet their own personal goals and agendas at the expense of their peers and subordinates. This management subculture is the result of a corporate culture of ignorance, indifference and excuse. This problem can only be addressed from the top echelon of the organization through honest introspection and intelligent skepticism - not by some consultant's attempts to manipulate the workforce into "feeling" better through gimmicks and programs. Better corporate level leadership is the key. Read more in "160 Degrees of Deviation: The Case for the Corporate Cynic."

Jerome Alexander