What Employees Want for 2008: A New Boss!
Survey Highlights Managers' Roles in Job Satisfaction
By Tom Musbach, Yahoo! HotJobs
Is your boss driving you to consider looking for a different job? If so, you're not alone, as 43% of workers in a recent survey said a dislike of their boss' performance would be a main reason for taking a new job in 2008.
According to the Yahoo! HotJobs annual job satisfaction survey, more than 7 in 10 workers are open to landing a new job in 2008. After discontent with a supervisor, the next two reasons cited for making a move are higher salary (36%) and more growth potential (34%).
"It's clear from the survey that employers need to pay attention to the boss-employee dynamic if they want to retain talented workers," said Susan Vobejda, vice president of marketing for Yahoo! HotJobs. "In addition to factors like salary, competitive benefits, and good work-life balance, employees equate job satisfaction with knowing that their contributions are recognized and valued by their managers."
In fact, 55% of the survey respondents agreed with the statement, "People don't leave companies; they leave managers."
Better Boss Relations in Three Steps
If you are unhappy with a boss, quitting your job may not be necessary. Experts recommend that you first try a strategy that involves self-reflection and discussion.
- Examine the situation. "Try hard to determine the reason for your unhappiness with the boss," says career coach Julie Jansen, author of "You Want Me to Work with Who?" The difficulty, for example, may be due to differences in expectations, communication style, or values.
- Talk it over. Meet with your boss to discuss your concerns and how they may be affecting your productivity. "Be wary of saying things such as, 'You always do this,'" Jansen says. "Instead say, 'When you dump a group of folders on my desk and tell me that you need the work done by 5 p.m., I feel discounted and that you aren't aware of the other projects that I'm working on. May we try to prioritize my work more regularly?'"
- Allow time for change. Jansen adds, "Realize that you always have to try harder than your boss does to get along. It's not fair, but neither is life!"
You Are the Driver
The important thing to remember is that you are in the driver's seat when it comes to your job satisfaction, reminds J.T. O'Donnell, career development specialist and author of "Find Your Career Path." She recommends challenging yourself with the following questions before confronting a bad manager:
- What have you done to effectively "manage up" and create a relationship that is strong and effective?
- While you are frustrated and critical of your manager, are you also prepared to step up and show how it should be done?
Change Could Do You Good
If you decide you'll be happier changing jobs, Richard Phillips of Advantage Career Solutions advises a three-step plan.
- Be clear about the reasons. "Vague generalizations about 'satisfaction' won't provide enough motivation to carry you through the work of actually making a change," he says.
- Develop a vision. Your vision should be what you want your work life to look like in the future. "This will serve as a guide and inspiration after you've made the change."
- Identify a step you can take. "Getting started is the hardest part," Phillips concludes. "After that, take small steps toward your goal; change seldom happens overnight."