03 September 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Half of UK workers have quit their job because of a poor relationship with their boss, according to research by jobs board Totaljobs.
Totaljobs carried out a survey of 2,098 UK workers in May and discovered "a worrying divide" in the relationships between line managers and workers.
Of those surveyed 49 per cent said that they have quit a job because their relationship with their boss going sour, and fewer than one in five (18 per cent) feel they can trust their boss.
Only a third (34 per cent) of workers said they feel confident they could approach their manager about a work-related issue, dropping to just one in 5 (20 per cent) when raising a personal problem.
Bottling up potential difficulties, in turn, has consequences. A quarter (26 per cent) of people report having sought mental health support because of their working relationship with a line manager. A further 24 per cent confess to having suffered nightmares about their boss.
In research earlier this year, Totaljobs found that more than one in four (28 per cent) workers went so far as to single out their manager as a work enemy. What's more, four in 10 managers admit that they have never received any management training, with 18 per cent only receiving training more than a year after having taken up their new responsibilities.
A huge 78 per cent of junior managers admit feeling like "a professional phoney" at least once during their careers. In the case of job interviews, nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of managers have conducted interviews without any training at all.
One in three (37 per cent) candidates have withdrawn a job application because of the interviewer's behaviour, but when training is provided, it can make a big difference. Approximately seven in 10 (69 per cent) of those who have received the appropriate training say they felt it effectively prepared them for the job of managing others.
Yet once through the interview stage, the relationship between managers and employees is not functioning as well as it should. Employees surveyed by Totaljobs also reveal what they consider to be their bosses' worst habits. Playing favourites (49 per cent), speaking behind people's backs (43 per cent), and taking credit for other people's work (36 per cent) are just a few of the ways bosses have been found to bother subordinates.
More than half of those polled told Totaljobs that they never socialise with their managers (59 per cent). In fact, one in three (34 per cent) admit they would go so far as to actively avoid their managers if they spotted them in public. A third of these respondents (31 per cent) said this is because they would simply find crossing paths too awkward. And almost half (46 per cent) say they don't believe they have anything in common.
Despite this, the good news is that few polled hate their bosses. Half (48 per cent) simply prefer to consider their relationship to be that of 'just colleagues'. Similarly, over two-thirds of managers consider their relationship to be strictly professional.