- Most business leaders and managers (88%) said they're willing to put in the extra effort to make their organizations successful, according to a study by Mercer Sirota shared with HR Dive Jan. 27. Most also said they liked working for their current company, and 92% said they were always thinking of better ways of working.
- Direct reports in the survey did not view their managers with such confidence, however. When asked to evaluate their managers, nearly a third of employees said their manager doesn't act like a coach or mentor, 29% said they don't think their managers give them a fair evaluation and roughly a quarter are uninspired by their manager.
- The survey identified four types of managers: partnership leaders; paternalistic leaders; transactional leaders; and adversarial leaders. "While there are many theories and pathways to leadership effectiveness, they all emphasize the important point that success depends on the quality of the relationships created," Mercer Sirota Consulting Services Leader Patrick Hyland said.
Bad bosses exist, as studies such as DDI's Frontline Leader Project affirm. More than half the study's respondents reported quitting a job because of a bad boss, and among the respondents who stayed, a third said they seriously considered leaving. "How leaders manage their emotions and how they make other people feel are the strongest drivers of talent retention," said Stephanie Neal, director of DDI's Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research, in a public comment.
High turnover is just one of the consequences of toxic bosses and the work environments they generate; toxic cultures also are costly. A Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) report released in September found that bad managers drove 1 in 5 employees out the workplace in the previous five years at a cost of $223 billion. As the report made clear, a toxic culture can severely set back a business's financial health.
However, one study suggested that there be a limit on how far managers go in being friendly and compassionate. Researchers Klodiana Lanaj and Remy E. Jennings said that while managers who help employees with work-related problems improve engagement, helping employees with marriage, mental health or childcare issues can leave them feeling distressed, sad and anxious.