It’s pretty common to share complaints about a manager or supervisor, but in the grand scheme of things most Americans seem to have a pretty positive view of their bosses. That’s the takeaway from a recent Pew Research Center poll, at least.
A mixed bag
Sure, there are some complaints that are common across most U.S. workplaces. Employees often don’t think they’re getting paid enough and don’t have sufficient opportunity for promotion or job growth. But a majority of them aren’t blaming their bosses.
In fact, a full 55% of respondents described their manager or supervisor as either “excellent” or “very good.” Another 26% said they have “good” bosses and just one-fifth of all respondents labeled their boss as “poor.”
The positive trait that most employees (63%) think their bosses have is an ability to provide a healthy balance between their work and personal lives. But a majority of those surveyed also think their bosses are good at:
- Recognizing employees for good work
- Remaining calm and even-tempered
- Holding workers to high standards
- Accepting new ideas from subordinates
Across the board
Pollsters found that these generally high marks are common across industries and regardless of whether the boss in question is a man or a woman. There are a few minor differences, e.g. female supervisors might be a little quicker to give credit when it’s due, but overall the results are fairly uniform.
Of course, it’s worth noting that high-income workers are somewhat more likely to rate their bosses more positively than those who earn less.
So what are some of the characteristics that workers look for in an excellent boss? The answers might not surprise you, but the survey identified several — capable, confident, fair, and caring — that are common among managers who received that top rating.