How to Be a Better Boss - New Poll Offers Insight
Dec 29,2006 00:00 by (ARA)

How is it that some managers are able to inspire top performances from their employees while others can barely extract an honest day’s work from the people who report to them? The secret is out.

According to a new survey by leading staffing company Kelly Services, an overwhelming majority of American employees want to work hard because their bosses are nice to them. As part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, 4,000 Americans were asked to rate their bosses on four attributes -- communication, leadership, team spirit and delegation skills. American workers ranked their bosses above average in all four areas.

On a scale of 1-to-10 with 10 being best, bosses in this country received a 7.3 for delegating authority, which shows they trust their employees; and a 7.1 for creating a sense of team spirit, which shows they want morale to be good. For leadership ability, they received a 7.0; a 6.9 for communication skills.

“American managers are putting extra emphasis on motivating and engaging their employees because they know that a content and motivated workforce will reduce costly turnover and will contribute to the bottom line, says George Corona, senior vice president of Kelly Services. So what are some of the most effective ways American bosses are raising people's stature from mere hired hands or order takers to valued team members?

* By asking employees to complete the initial screening of potential job candidates -- to make sure the person hired will be a good fit with the team;

* By consistently seeking input from employees, and acting on their suggestions for improving productivity and efficiency;

* By resisting the urge to micromanage -- leaving it up to the employees to determine the best way to complete their assignments.

And here are some innovative ways they are encouraging employees to get out and have fun together:

* Sending employees to team-building workshops where they are dependent on each other to complete a goal, like to climb a mountain, sail a ship, run an obstacle course, etc.

* Encouraging monthly get-togethers where employees can put work aside for an hour or two and are given the opportunity to socialize.

Overall, American bosses come in second only to Mexico when it comes to being the best supervisors in world. The industries where bosses get the highest accolades are business services, the sciences, pharmaceutical and IT.