Would Your Employees Fire You?

In a recent episode of the TV show “Mad Men” one of the account execs, Ken, was fired by the ad agency’s new owner, McCann Erickson, and ordered to turn over his accounts to Pete, another account exec.

The next day Ken returns to the agency to inform them he has a new job. As the new head of advertising for Dow, one of the agency’s largest clients. Ken is now his former agency’s client.

Pete and Roger immediately assume he will fire their agency because he was poorly treated. But he says no. He’ll actually be seeing more of them but he will be a “very hard client to please.”

Steve Carell as Michael Scott in "The Office."-- NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

Steve Carell as Michael Scott in “The Office.”– NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

Ken opted not to fire his former boss, but instead stick around and make him jump through hoops for him as the client. If one of your employees had the chance, do you think you would be fired, or made miserable in your present position?

It seems a majority of employees would actually rather fire their boss than get a raise. That was one of the questions asked for a survey conducted and reported in an article on Forbes.com, “Majority of Americans Would Rather Fire Their Boss Than Get a Raise.”

Psychologist and best-selling author Michelle McQuaid conducted the survey or more than 1,000 workers from different generations, locations and professions. It seems 65 percent of the people polled would be happier if they could fire their boss than if they got a raise.

Many felt the extra money isn’t worth the anxiety, stress and low morale caused by working for a bad boss. And let’s talk about the effect on productivity. According to McQuaid, people who view their bosses negatively took 15 more sick days and slowed down their work.

“The current situation in the workplace is taking an incredible personal toll on employees—and for organizations it is costing $360 billion a year in lost productivity.”

The survey showed that 60 percent of employees said they would do a better job if they got along better with their boss, with 58 percent saying they would be more successful.

If you’re concerned about how you measure up as a boss and what your employees would say about you, you may want to take this quiz: How to Know If You’re a Bad Boss.

It’s a list of 15 questions and some may be revealing to you. Here are a few examples:

If I had to switch places for a week with one of my employees, I would:

  • Enjoy the job.
  • Probably not enjoy the job but could be pleasantly surprised.
  • Slit my throat.

When there’s a crisis in the company…

  • I share the news with my employees as soon as I’m certain there really is a problem.
  • I don’t want to cause a panic, so I keep my employees in the dark as long as possible.
  • Once the electricity’s been turned off and it’s actually dark, I still think it’s none of their business how I run my business.

As the Turnaround Authority, I’ve talked with thousands of people at dozens of companies and asked how they felt about the company and about their boss during my initial assessment of the situation at the company. Sad to say, but the results of this survey don’t surprise me much.

Bad bosses cost your company money in lost productivity, turnover and low morale. Start at the top and make sure you aren’t one of them.

Although with a continued high percentage of bad bosses, I’ll never run out of clients as the Turnaround Authority.

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