At Home: Who’s the Boss?
The bad or clueless boss is so frequently the subject of comic strips, and sitcoms that It’s become cliché. However, it might be time to revise that impression.
As the CBC reports, bosses appear to be getting better. A recent survey of 2,000 adult employees shows that Canadians gave their bosses a satisfaction score of 59.7 out of 100?a substantial increase over 2005’s result of 47.5.
The increased satisfaction levels indicate that employer-employee relations may be a little less strained. More specifically, the study showed that ?bosses improved most in the areas of acknowledging their mistakes, and being a born leader.? And highest-ranked trait was managers? ability to communicate their expectations to their employees.
Still, though, there’s room for improvement; employees didn’t think quite as highly of managers? ability to ?help . . . employees reach their potential.?
But as Peter Gilfillan, general manager for the Canadian arm of Monster.com, the online job search giant that commissioned the survey, It’s a ?clear message . . . [that] bosses are getting better.?
Around the World: Liar, Liar
Another top-level business stereotype: lying CEOs. But when CEOs fib or tell outright untruths about the condition of their companies, they hurt a lot more than their employees. The business scandals of the past few years have taught us that a few lies can cause financial ruin for company shareholders.
But there’s no need to hide your money in a sock. As NPR News reports, a new Stanford University study suggests that It’s possible to determine ?when senior executives are fibbing,? and even to ?predict those companies that are likely to have problems.?
The study examined transcripts from corporate earnings calls, during which ?CEOs and chief financial officers take questions from analysts,? and noted which companies were later forced to ?restate earnings.?
Researchers found that clear trends emerged. One, as Stanford accounting professor and study co-author David Larcker told reporters, is the tendency of lying CEOs to avoid ?answering the question? directly.
Also to look out for: executives who avoid personal blame by using words like ?we,? ?us,? and ?our team.? Overexuberant cheerleading is another red flag.
Besides protecting shareholders, the research has potential for application in day-to-day life. As Larcker told reporters, ?I think since the Garden of Eden we’ve been trying to figure this out ? who’s lying and who’s not lying.?