83% of British workers dislike their boss and believe they can do a better job

Could you really do a better job than your manager? But when it comes to the crunch… would you?

Five out of six British workers dislike their immediate manager, and reckon they can do a far better job, it’s been revealed.

A majority of workers say that their superior only got into their job through toadying, favouritism or – more likely – because they were promoted to a post where they can do less damage, says a national employment law consultancy.

However, when pressed, many workers admit that they don’t know exactly what their immediate manager’s post entails, and that they probably wouldn’t take the job if they were offered it, the Protecting consultancy says.

“It’s one of the great paradoxes of the workplace,” says Protecting.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “People hate their superiors, say they could do their job, but when push comes to shove they don’t fancy the extra responsibility.”

Protecting asked over 2000 employees in office, retail, public service and industry what they thought of their immediate superior, and whether they could do their job.

  • 84% said they dislike their supervisor
  • 87% said they could do their supervisor’s job
  • 53% said they wouldn’t actually take their supervisor’s job if they were offered it
  • 39% said they didn’t know what their immediate superior’s job actually entailed

“That’s pretty much a huge defeat for authority in the workplace,” says Protecting’s Mark Hall, “And it reflects the rejection of expertise and respect across British society.

“Sociologists agree that many people reject the opinion of those above them these days, and that’s spread into offices and factories, resulting in open dislike for management.”

British workers can do far better if many fixed their attitudes toward their superiors, while managers could equally do the same to support their staff members, Protecting.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall says.

Asked by Protecting.co.uk how they thought their supervisor got their job, most questioned displayed extreme cynicism that he or she had arrived in their post on their merits.

  • “I heard he’s drinking buddies with the boss,” said one office worker of their newly-promoted manager.
  • On similar lines, another office worker told Protecting.co.uk: “The only people who get promoted round here are the same old faces who hang around the smoking shelter. It’s like you’ve got to be in the MD’s smoking club to get on.”
  • One factory worker said their supervisor was moved into a management role “because she can do less damage that way… the most useless so-called skilled operator I’ve ever seen, but they didn’t want the hassle of sacking her.”
  • “We just call him Dr No. Can’t remember the last time we got a day off at short notice. I could easily do his job.”

Protecting.co.uk says that there’s a serious point in that a breakdown of relations between staff and middle-management is one of the most common causes of disputes and constructive dismissal cases.

Quite often these problems come as a result of rifts that can easily be maintained by good communication between bosses and their teams, and squashing the rumour mills where workers believe the smoking shelter doubles as an unofficial boardroom for less-than-adequate managers.

“There are basic communication skills that are being forgotten in the workplace,” says Mark Hall, “and in the long run it costs companies a small fortune in absenteeism, falling production, and – eventually – employment tribunals.”

“Unless you’re in the armed forces, your workplace shouldn’t be a battle ground,” Hall says.