Employees feel they don't need managers' help

Creating collaborative cultures could help overcome difficulties in the employee-manager relationship

Around two-thirds of British workers (65%) feel they could do their job just as well or even better without their manager’s input, according to research.

Kimble Applications’ Boss Barometer Report, which surveyed 1,000 full-time UK employees, found that almost half (46%) have little faith in their managers.

When asked about their boss' management style, 36% feel that their boss micromanages them too much. A similar number (31%) said their manager has taken credit for their work or contributions, and only 46% believe their boss is invested in their career growth and aspirations.

However, there still appears to be a mutually respectful relationship between employers and employees, the report found. Almost three-quarters (74%) of employees believe their manager respects them, and 69% don’t find it difficult to be honest with their boss.

These mixed findings suggest workers want a more agile approach to work, researchers said, with three-quarters (73%) saying they prefer a collaborative culture to help with decision-making and delegation of tasks. Even though more companies are adopting agile management, hierarchical models still exist and may be affecting UK businesses’ abilities to deal with the modern demands of work.

Mark Robinson, CMO and co-founder of Kimble Applications, said that allowing workers to collaborate more could help to overcome difficulties in the employee-manager relationship. “British workers indicate their willingness to collaborate more while taking on greater leadership roles, which are both key fundamentals to agile management,” he said.

“This approach would alleviate a lot of referenced employee challenges and allow bosses to motivate, coach and train employees – all skills that are wanted in a boss.”

Robinson added that companies that do not adopt a flat model could fall behind. “Where hierarchies exist it can create a culture where colleagues pit themselves against each other to impress the boss, creating a cut-throat working culture. Given a large majority of workers feel they can do their job without their manager, there is a sense of animosity that some managers may be limiting growth and development of those they manage,” he said.

“Divesting authority to those in the know will empower employees and enable greater development of a business. Companies that fail to adapt and ride with the times will ultimately fall behind.”