Nearly Half of Workers Say Bosses Have Taken Credit for Their Work

Majority say managers don’t help them advance their careers
A woman on a phone call

If you’re looking for a boss to nurture your career and inspire you to do your best work, you may have a difficult time finding one. In fact, some workers believe their managers have hurt them professionally, a new survey suggests.

An employee’s relationship with their boss can color the way that worker perceives the workplace experience. For example, a bad employee review is one of the top reasons workers quit.

To gain insight into this important relationship, organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry surveyed 804 respondents. It found that, in many cases, the rapport between employee and manager leaves something to be desired.

In some cases, employees believe their bosses have set out to hurt their chances of success.

For example, nearly half of respondents (48%) said their boss has taken undue credit for work that they have done. Thirty-nine percent said their boss has thrown them under the bus at some point.

Other employees don’t feel their managers give them the professional support they need. Only 42% of respondents said their manager helps them advance their career.

Through studies of employees’ and managers’ talents, analytics firm Gallup has detailed traits that are typically found in good managers. One such trait is the ability to motivate their employees to work hard and perform for the company. However, the Korn Ferry survey found that more than half of respondents (56%) said their boss either motivates them very little or not at all.

Not only do many employees feel uninspired by their bosses, but some believe they could teach their bosses a little something. In fact, 40% of respondents said they could do their boss’s job better than their manager. However, only 32% would be interested in taking their boss’s job.

The good news is a majority of respondents (65%) said they have learned something from their bosses, and only 25% of respondents believe they are smarter than their bosses. More than a third of employees (35%) even consider their boss to be a friend.

Since employees typically spend much of their time at work, dealing with a boss who is not supportive can be frustrating and stressful. However, with the U.S. unemployment rate at a 50-year low as of October 2019, this could be an optimal time to start sending out resumes. If you do decide to look for a new job, take steps to prepare yourself, including learning how to perform better in a job interview. Also, take steps to shore up your finances if you’re thinking about making a career change.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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