What do we look for in a boss?

victoria worrell

15th December 2016


As we sit back on the sofa and watch Alan Sugar’s weekly onslaught of young hopefuls full of confidence, we not only see how fine the line is between self-belief and delusion but also wonder, would we want Alan Sugar as our boss? The CV writing specialists, Purple CV, recently surveyed 1,500 people to find out what boss is the most and least desired. You might be surprised by the results.

The qualities we look for

Remember when you did well in your homework and your teacher would praise and reward you with another star or telling the class how great your work was? With just under a third of respondents believing a good boss rewards and appreciates their work, our craving for recognition and praise of hard work does not disappear as we grow older.

The top 3 attributes we look for in a boss are:
•  Loyalty to staff (22%)
•  Belief in and passion for the company (16%)
•  Being approachable and personable (15%)
Respondents identified that bosses need to support and lead their staff in a positive manner, as well as feeling comfortable enough to speak to them about work issues without any fear or hesitation.

Business concept, Boss gives compliment to business people and they are thinking that boss is an angel. Vector illustration

The characteristics that push us away

When respondents were asked what doesn’t make a good boss, the top 3 responses were all based around attitude and actions towards colleagues.

The top turn-offs in a boss were:

• A lack of respect for employees (24%)

• No praise or encouragement (17%)

• Outright favouritism of staff members (11%)

It’s evident to see that bosses need to acknowledge their colleagues hard work and praise when it is due. To get the best out of employees bosses need to develop and push in an encouraging and positive manner – the stick approach will only work for so long before an employee becomes disheartened, loses confidence and even leaves.

Bad Boss Employee are carrying the leader VECTOR EPS10

Who is the perfect boss? Is there such a thing?!

Everyone has different, possessing alternate personality characteristics so it is inevitable that people will prefer certain management styles over others. So, can someone be the perfect boss? It seems unlikely. However, the top celebrity bosses people wanted to work for were Richard Branson (34%), Alan Sugar (17.5%) and Mark Zuckerberg (16%). All of these men worked hard and built their businesses from the ground up, showing that people look for a boss who is passionate about their company.

The least popular bosses were Donald Trump (1.8%) and Sir Philip Green (1.7%), who have both been in the media for treating staff in “amoral manner” and “being disrespectful” to people. The results reflect respondent’s feedback on the positive and negative traits of a boss. But how do you prefer to be managed? It’s certainly food for thought.

On the lookout to find the boss that you want? Take a look at our latest vacancies here or speak to one of our consultants who’ll be able to help find your amazing team and manager now on 020 7426 9835.

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