Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Too many chiefs, not enough Indians’? In todays society, it has become apparent that in some businesses there are too many employees who want to be managers and not enough willing to be workers. As there is such competition to work your way up the hierarchy in many companies (and having spent the last 8 months as the manager of a team of researchers myself) I decided to research what it is that makes a ‘good boss’. What qualities does a candidate need to hold in order to make it to the top? And do the majority of bosses deserve to be so?

The study conducted by OnePoll surveyed 1000 employed UK adults and asked them to discuss their current boss.

When asked if they had a good relationship with their boss, a huge 85% said they felt that they did. However, 62% said they wouldn’t consider their boss a friend and 41% of employed Brits feel like their boss doesn’t appreciate everything they do. Whilst most said that they like their boss, 16% admitted to not, with 30 people confessing to actually ‘hate’ them.

The top 3 traits for what we consider to be a good boss are: Approachability (53%), Respectfulness (46%) and Supportiveness (40%) with Appreciative coming close behind (36%).

Most people polled agreed that their current boss had all of the above qualities with 14% admitting that their boss is also demanding and 2% think their boss is a genius! (I can only assume that my own team took part in the research)

Interestingly, more people with female managers consider them to be respectful, appreciative, trustworthy, approachable, supportive and understanding than those with male managers. Similarly, more employees with a male boss (31%) consider them to be funny than those with a female manager (23%).

Whilst as a nation, we are still overcoming gender stereotypes and sexism, Brits today still think that the ideal boss should be a man, aged 45 with 2 children (all of which I am not, by the way…).

Apparently, the ideal boss also enjoys Eating out (24%), Walking (22%), Swimming (17%) and is an avid volunteer in their spare time (18%).

When participants were probed as to what they think their current boss could improve on in their role, we saw some interesting responses:

“Actually listen to the team’s ideas rather than ignore us, then realise that we were right a few months later and try and claim credit for our work with the directors.”

“Could be a bit more chatty”

“Be firmer and more decisive”“Understand family life”“Treat people with respect, be approachable, be interested, be a listener, be compassionate, be thoughtful to name only a few!”

Clearly it is difficult to please everyone, with contrasting comments such as “Be less soft” from one participant and Be more stern” from another. Worryingly one person said “I really don’t know my manager well enough to answer” and another suggested their manager ought to be “less ginger!”

Luckily, not everyone thinks badly of their manager, one person wrote “not much really she is pretty great as bosses go” Again I assume this came from one of my own…

In addition, many employees had very positive things to say about their boss and what they do well in the role:

“Appreciates what I do, guides but never instructs, good sense of humour, respectful”

“Appreciates co-workers, friendly and approachable, understanding and patient.”

“He has amazing people skills and is a great leader”

“Most things – she is very inspirational”

“Makes an effort to know their staff personally”

Those polled were also asked which famous individuals they thought would make the greatest bosses. Richard Branson came out on top as someone who would make the best well known boss (33%) with Bill Gates (22%) and daytime TV favourite Philip Schofield (20%) as close runners up. Twice as many men than women think that Roy Hodgson would be a great boss and 20% of women think that Simon Cowell would be the best man for the job, compared to 12% of men.

Tulisa Contostavlos who considers herself ‘The Female Boss’ has not quite lived up to her name with only 5% revealing she would make a good boss and after Katie Hopkins’ latest appearance on Celebrity Big Brother where she showed herself to be a leader, she still only had 7% of the vote.

So what is your boss like? Do you think you would make a great manager? Could you do a better job than your boss?

What I have learned from this study is that I do not fit the ‘ideal’ image of what a great manager is, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have what it takes to make the role my own and be the best manager I can be to the team. Of course there is always room for improvement, but it will always be a challenge to keep everyone happy. And besides, my team think I’m a genius…

Top 10 personality traits we think make the best boss

Approachable    52.80%
Respectful          46.00%
Supportive          39.80%
Appreciative      35.80%
Trustworthy       33.70%
Understanding  21.60%
Humorous           14.50%
Authoritative        6.50%
Educational           4.80%
Outgoing                 4.20%

Well known people who we think would make the best bosses

Richard Branson 33.10%<
Bill Gates 22.10%
Phillip Schofield 20.20%
Simon Cowell 16.00%
Steven Spielberg 13.10%
Alan Titchmarsh 10.70%
Oprah Winfrey 8.50%
Roy Hodgson 7.40%
Katie Hopkins 6.60%
Cheryl Fernandez Versini 5.90%
Jim Carrey 5.90%
Tulisa Contostavlos 4.90%
Joey from Friends 4.60%
Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory 3.70%
Katie Price 2.90%
Jay Z 2.80%
Beyoncé 2.70%