Survey: One-third of employees say their boss negatively affects workplace culture
- In a Comparably survey, a third of respondents said their boss negatively impacts their company's culture. Comparably, a provider of compensation and culture solutions, surveyed 20,000 employees at small, midsize and large public and private tech firms.
- The survey also found that women (39%) were more likely to feel their bosses hurt company culture than men (31%). Business development and administrative staff were more likely than those in HR and engineering to agree that bosses hurt company culture, while workers age 18 to 25 (27%) were less negative about their bosses than workers age 56 to 60 (38%).
- Other key findings showed that: communication was the number one area in which bosses needed improvement (50%); one-third of respondents felt they could do a better job at managing than their boss; and the first thing they would improve as the boss is "vision and strategy" (33%).
As Comparably notes, the most important relationships in the workplace are between managers and workers. Although the survey found that as many as 60% of respondents said they're comfortable giving managers negative feedback, the share of those who actually do so or are given the chance to do so is likely much lower.
Inadequate communication adversely affects all aspects of the workplace, including: how managers relate to staff, how benefits are explained, how organizational goals are expressed, the way in which work assignments are clarified, how new hires are onboarded and by what method employee buy-in to new programs and procedures is captured. One survey shows that 79% of workers get their information through the grapevine, where rumors often fester.
A separate study found that employees want more communication with HR. The survey focused on remote workers, but most employees want better communication across the board. Communication can address topics from day-to-day performance observations to how the organization plans to handle an upcoming merger.
Employers should also conduct periodic surveys in order to evaluate the effectiveness of their own internal communication strategies. Managers can initiate open two-way discussions with subordinates to not only find out their perceptions of the boss, but also to explain what managing entails and how bosses make decisions.