4 Ways to Be A Better Boss

  • workforce insights
  • October 06, 2014
In honor of National Boss's Day, Randstad is unveiling new research about what U.S. workers want from their managers. According to a Forbes article, the employee-boss relationship is a “critical cultural element” for any workplace. 

“Your manager has an everyday impact on your ability to stretch yourself and grow, and on a more basic level, they shape your experience of feeling welcomed and respected,” according to the article

In fact, the Forbes article cited a statistic stating that 70 percent of those who voluntarily leave roles, cite that it was their boss, specifically, that they were leaving behind.

“With the economy continuing to improve and the job market showing promise, many business leaders are increasingly focused on retaining their best and brightest employees, and studies show that a job-deciding factor for many workers is the type of relationship they have with their boss,” said Michelle Prince, SVP, talent management, Randstad North America. "Healthy manager-employee relationships are built on clear communication, trust and respect."

According to recent findings from the Randstad Engagement Study, here are four ways to be a better boss: 



When your employees are engaged and invested in the future of your business, they speak up and want to play an active role in decision making. Nurture this enthusiasm by not only listening to your workers, but implementing their ideas when possible. 

What do employees want? 

According to Randstad’s research: 
  • A majority (74%) of respondents said their managers value their opinions, with 76 percent of men agreeing with this statement, compared to 71 percent of women. 
  •  Also, 59 percent of workers said their efforts are recognized and valued, with 61 percent of men agreeing with this statement, compared to 56 percent of women. 


With four generations working side-by-side in the workplace, it’s becoming more of a challenge to motivate different age groups with varying goals, expectations and work habits. Treat each employee as an individual with unique needs and expectations, and be sure to explain how each worker’s everyday contributions connect to overall business goals. 

What do employees want? 

According to Randstad's research: 
  • More than half (55%) of all survey respondents said they feel inspired by their managers. 
  • Among generational  groups, Baby Boomers were the least inspired by their boss (51%) compared to Gen X (56%) and Gen Y (60%) workers. 
  • Along gender lines, men were more inspired by their bosses than women (57% compared to 51%).

With a results-oriented mindset, Gen Y tends to be on the fast track to leadership and generally don’t adhere to concepts like tenure and seniority. Find out your employees’ career goals and be an advocate for high-performing employees who want to rise quickly through the ranks or continue to develop expertise in their current role.

What do employees want? 
  • When asked if they aspire to have their manager’s position, about four-in-10 (39%) of all survey respondents agreed with this statement. 
  • More than half (53%) of Gen Y workers said they aspire to be the boss, compared to Gen X (44%) and Baby Boomer (28%) workers. 
  • Similarly, when asked if they felt that they could do a better job than their boss, close to half (48%) of all respondents agreed with this statement, with Gen Y and Gen X being the most confident at 54 percent and 50 percent, respectively, compared to Baby Boomers (43%). 

As a boss, the key to establishing good accessibility with your employees is finding out what method of communication works best, especially in today’s more virtual work environment. Whether it’s regular updates via email, regular one-on-one meetings, a shared project management tool or weekly status meetings, figure out the best approach to ensure you’re an accessible, approachable manager.

What do employees want? 
  • A majority (72%) of employees said their boss was usually accessible throughout the day, with 75 percent of men agreeing with this statement, compared to 68 percent of women.





about our survey
The Randstad Engagement Study is comprised of findings from biannual waves of research targeting employees. The ninth wave of findings was conducted online between April 1–8, 2014 from a national sample of 2,257 adults aged 18 and older who are currently employed full time from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel. Generational groups are defined as follows: Gen Y ( ages 18-30), Gen X ( ages 31-47) and Baby Boomer (ages 48-65).