American Workers Think Obama Will Make a Better Boss
November 3 2008 by Fayazuddin A Shirazi
While the job creators in America might want John McCain to be the next U.S president, the American workforce is keen to have Obama seated at the top slot. The Workplace Insights survey which examined overall employee sentiments when it comes to their bosses, found that majority of the respondents in the survey believe Barack Obama will make a better boss over John McCain.
In a recently released survey, Adecco, a firm specializing in workforce solutions, revealed that the American workforce is increasingly of the opinion that a boss who exhibits better communication abilities will make a better boss in comparison to one who speaks less and interacts less frequently. Obama believed to be a frequent blogger, makes optimum use of the latest communication technologies, while McCain has been pretty slow on new technologies. (Read McCain Should Consider Blogging)
The survey asked employed adults which of the two presidential candidates would make a better boss, and the response turned out to be as close as the campaign itself, with 54 percent giving the nod to Barack Obama and 46 percent to John McCain, which is in sharp contrast to what the CEOs or the job creators at 751 companies said on making a choice between Obama and McCain. (Read: Chief Executive Survey). According to Chief Executive Survey job creators preferred McCain four to one over Obama. ” It is clear job creating business leaders chose McCain over Obama largely because his policies are seen as progrowth, whereas Obama’s policies are viewed as redistributive and anti-growth,” said Ed Kopko, CEO Chief Executive Magazine citing the reason behind the CEO choice.
However, when asked why the American workforce feels Obama will make a better boss over McCain, Adecco chose to stay mum and said: “Adecco is uncomfortable answering political questions at this time. The survey itself does not dig into reasons why the American workforce “elected” Obama over McCain and to speculate on potential reasons behind this would be an irresponsible gesture.”
Nevertheless, commenting on the qualities a boss should posses, Bernadette Kenny, Chief Career Officer with Adecco says that the workers are looking for a boss who exhibits exceptional and consistent communication abilities that will keep them productive, recognized and rewarded.
“Although the bosses are more stressed and are facing acute pressure today, than ever before, technology has provided them ample opportunity to be in touch with their workforce on a frequent basis,” she says, adding that the leaders are expected to be role models for their followers. “And in the current scenario of the financial turmoil, leaders must honestly own the responsibility for failures and any financial mishaps; additionally they should provide a roadmap to achieve financial stability and integrity in an organization,” Kenny told CE Online.
The survey found that 65 percent of employed adults believe that that their boss looks out for them and their career goals. Further, more than three out of four workers with a boss (77 percent) think their boss deserves his/her level of compensation, which is quite telling given the slowing economy and fears of stagnant wage growth amongst many Americans.
While 29 percent of the surveyed employed adults would call their boss a “friend” as compared to other categorizations including mentor (21 percent), confidant (six percent), parent figure (five percent), only three percent consider their boss an enemy and one percent perceive him/her to be their staunch rival, the survey said.
Kenny believes that the survey is a positive indicator of the strength of American bosses in the midst of what is happening to American economy and workforce. She says that more employees are beginning to view their bosses as allies, rather than mere paycheck providers, which is a win-win situation for both workers and employers alike.
“It takes real leadership on the part of bosses to maintain the spirit during these turbulent times and will require further effort and attention in the coming months in order to maintain such strong working relationships across all rungs of the corporate ladder,” says Kenny.
Describing the importance of leadership skills in a boss, Kenny says leadership is a career choice. “Workers want to be good followers. A leader needs to understand how to create the environment which will encourage workers to follow, be more productive, and stay engaged. Our most successful organizations have leaders who understand their business strategy, can communicate that strategy and derive successful results out of it,” remarks Kenny.