5 things South Africans hate about their bosses

Jobs portal CareerJunction has published the findings of its employee survey, showing what workers in South Africa think about their bosses, and how their relationship with their employers affect their personal lives.

The 2019 research, which drew the responses of over 3,000 employees,  found that as many as a third of employees quit their jobs because of their bosses.

“While people want to be able to turn to their managers for help, guidance, career growth and motivation, it turns out that many South Africans have unhealthy relationships with their bosses, which is having a detrimental effect on work morale and productivity as well as employees’ personal lives,” CareerJunction said.

The biggest obstacles between boss and worker were found to be trust and approachability, which have become major contributory factors towards many quitting their jobs.

The majority of respondents said they don’t trust their boss, and around half said they felt uncomfortable approaching their boss with work difficulties.

The survey results highlighted the worst behaviours of South African bosses, as told by workers.

  • Showing favouritism – 44%
  • Requesting that employees work overtime without pay – 34%
  • Denying a pay increase – 30%
  • Unexpectedly denying holiday/leave – 25%
  • Taking credit for work done by employees – 13%

As a consequence of apparent toxic work relationships with their boss, many employees noted having social and personal problems. These include:

  • Having nightmares – 27%
  • Needing to seek mental health support – 18%
  • Drinking heavily – 12%

Don’t want to mix

According to CareerJunction, around half of the survey respondents said they never want to socialise with their boss at all, and would never invite them to a celebratory event like a birthday or a wedding.

The same number said they would actively try to avoid their boss outside of working hours, and wouldn’t discuss their personal lives with them.

Only 16% said that the would classify their relationship with their boss as a friendship, with 11% describing their boss’ character as “awesome”.

“It’s not all bad news for local managers. A serendipitous insight revealed by the survey was that managers can take solace in the fact that workers agreed that being a boss is stressful (73%) and also admitted that their managers acknowledged their hard work as employees (61%),” CareerJunction said.

“It remains a painful truth that managers need to up their game in terms of looking after their staff if they wish to retain them.”

When asked how bosses and managers could do better, the employees who responded to the survey highlighted these five broad ‘solutions’:

  1. Provide clear performance/objective indicators.
  2. Provide specific feedback about work done.
  3. Create a learning/development programme.
  4. Have a clear job description.
  5. One-on-one meetings.

Read: South Africans are recording conversations to use against their bosses

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5 things South Africans hate about their bosses