American workers elect Obama as better boss over Mccain

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New Adecco Workplace Insights Survey Examines the Employee-Manager Relationship In Celebration of Boss Day 2008

MELVILLE, N.Y. (October 13, 2008) – In recognition of the upcoming Boss Day holiday (October 16), Adecco USA, part of the world’s largest recruitment and workforce solutions provider, has released its latest Workplace Insights survey highlighting overall employee sentiments when it comes to their bosses. The survey also polled Americans to find out who of the major presidential candidates would make a better boss, and the response turns out to be as close as the campaign itself, with 54% giving the nod to Barack Obama and 46% to John McCain.

The survey also found that the vast majority (65%) of American workers think their boss looks out for them and their career goals.  Further, more than 3 out of 4 workers (77%) think their boss should be earning their current salary, which is quite telling given the slowing economy and fears of stagnant wage growth amongst many Americans. Other findings include:

  • Friends First?:  More American workers (29%) would call their boss a “friend” as compared to other categorizations including mentor (21%), confidant (6%), parent figure (5%), enemy (3%) or rival (1%), showcasing a further blurring of the lines between one’s personal and professional life.
  • No Job Envy: Less than one-third (31%) of American workers would take their bosses job if offered to them right now.  In a further sign of respect for managers, only 36% of workers think they’re smarter than their boss.

“This latest Adecco USA Workplace Insights survey is quite refreshing and a positive indicator of the strength of American bosses in the midst of what is happening to our economy and workforce,” said Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer for Adecco. "More employees are beginning to view their bosses as allies, rather than mere paycheck providers, which is a win-win for both workers and employers alike. It takes real leadership on the part of bosses to maintain that spirit during these turbulent times and will require further effort and attention in the coming months in order to maintain such strong working relationships across all rungs of the corporate ladder."

For employees, Adecco recommends the following three ways to improve relationships with management:

  1. Be transparent: Keeping an open and honest line of communication between you and your manager is one of the best ways to create an effective working relationship. Discuss potential problems instead of waiting for actual problems to arise.
  2. Bosses are people too: When a personal relationship is non-existent, it’s quite easy to forget that your boss is an employee just as you are. Many of the same stresses you experience at work are the same they experience as well. Connecting on a more personal level, like discussing a similar frustration or discussing the difficulties of achieving work/life balance, will create a culture of understanding that will ultimately provide a better working relationship.
  3. Respect their position: No matter how close you are with your boss, always respect their position and the job they have to do.  If personal and professional lines become blurred, it sets the stage for uncomfortable situations to arise that will negatively affect the relationship.  

For bosses, Adecco recommends the following three ways to be an effective and respected leader:

  1. Be supportive: Your employees are your most valuable asset. Some employees are feeling stressed and uneasy during this time in our economy. With unemployment, inflation and the cost of living all rising, these things can result in added stress to your staff, so try and keep this in mind before reacting to a particular situation. Showing that you are vested in their success is critical to being an effective leader.
  2. Be a team player: Employees tend to respect bosses who are willing to be in the trenches with them and are not afraid to get their hands dirty when needed. Many employees, trying to overcompensate for the slow economy, are working longer hours and taking fewer days off so be  sure to stay flexible to other incentives for staff.
  3. Never play favorites: It is imperative to never favor one employee over another. While it's important to appropriately recognize and reward your best performing employees, you must always treat employees as valuable members of the team. All your hard work building trust within your team could be lost should a situation arise where you choose sides. Despite personal relationships, you must make every effort to treat employees equally. 

For a complete copy of the Adecco USA Boss Day 2008 survey results please contact Anthony Guerrieri at anthony.guerrieri@adeccona.com.


Survey Methodology:

This Boss Day survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Adecco USA between September 4 and September 8, 2008 among 2,112 adults ages 18+, of whom, 1,152 are employed full time and/or part time. Results were weighted as needed on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, and race/ethnicity. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. For complete methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Anthony Guerrieri.

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