The third Friday of each August is “Hug Your Boss Day.” This year Friday, September 4th will highlight workplace relationships, value employee/boss relationships while answering the question – Will you hug your boss today?
In the late 1950’s Boss’s Day was created in the month of October to improve the relationship between boss and employee. By 2008 the whole concept of business interactions and relationships was revisited. It was realized that meaningful hierarchical relationships are the key to creating a great workplace with happy employees. In honor of happy and respectful workplace relationships, a new tradition began with “Hug Your Boss Day”.
Image: Hugs” by Skia, Deviant Art http://fav.me/d2zy0wr
Engaged Employees and Hugs
Since we spend a major part of our lives working, doesn’t it make sense that our working relationships are healthy, positive and rewarding? We often hear the term ‘engagement’ used in the workplace. This version of engagement is an emotional commitment to the organization and its goals. It leads to people actually caring about their work and their company.
Having solid and valued relationships with colleagues and managers is an essential part of that engagement. It significantly contributes to supporting personal motivation and higher productivity levels. The end result is that everyone benefits. To use that horrible, tired old phrase, it’s win-win!
“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek
What Makes a Boss Huggable?
No surprise here – all bosses are not created equal. Having a truly great boss is the exception and unfortunately not always the rule.
A great boss impacts their team in a number of ways.
- Acts as a role model – integrity, perseverance, stamina
- Performs as a mentor
- Creates leaders
- Develops others
- Shares authority
- Creates a safe and healthy environment
- Recognizes good work
- Maintains communication channels
Being a boss is not for the faint of heart. Employees describe the best bosses as people who largely left them alone to get the job done. Once the boss had assigned a task and delegated it completely, their boss moved on, got out-of-the-way and gave them considerable freedom to decide exactly how to achieve the goal. These are the bosses who will be hugged today!
A hug is a handshake from the heart. ~Author Unknown
Employees: Are They Huggable, too?
Let’s not forget that being a great employee has characteristics of its own. Many employees project their unfinished issues with their parents and authority figures onto their boss. These employees may act out an unstable adolescence with their boss, provoke their boss to set boundaries and do interventions with them.
Employees also have the ability to impact their relationship with their boss in ways that will benefit both of them.
- Develop strategies that help minimize the differences and maximize the similarities with your boss.
- Build trust. Be true to your word. Do what you say you are going to do.
- Share not only the ‘bad’ news, but the good news with your boss.
- Offer solutions and avoid complaining.
- Arrive at work at the expected time, refrain from watching the clock and avoid always being the first one out the door.
- Maintain personal boundaries, do not try to be too chummy or ask to be friends on Facebook
- Be open and flexible when asked to do something that is not spelled out specifically in the job description.
- Be accountable for your mistakes
Managers need to be managed (and hugged)…by you.
Lessons Learned With and Without Hugs
Many years ago I learned a powerful lesson from a great boss and mentor by watching him manage his boss. The lesson was that my # 1 job was to make my boss more successful. I also learned that if my people failed, I had to look at myself.
Bosses come with unique strengths and weaknesses, knowing and understanding both your boss’ style and your own is essential to making and keeping the boss happy – along with occasionally being hugged. BTW – My boss was a very huggable crusty marshmallow.
A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit. – John C. Maxwell
Some Facts on Bosses
Studies and surveys are always being conducted on working relationships so that we can all benefit from learning the results.
- 61% of responders in a recent global job board survey admitted that their boss motivated and spurred them on, raising their confidence levels at work
- 25% felt their bosses make them feel devalued to the point that they wanted to quit their job
- 14% felt that bosses caused them stress and headaches
- 33% of people need to physically see their boss every single day to stay motivated
- 75% people need to have regular catch ups with their boss to stay motivated
- 47% of people greet their boss with a “handshake”
- 41% say “hello”
- 3% “run and hide”
- 37% believe that “Good Working Relationships” make them more productive at work
- 86% believe that if they LIKE their boss, then it makes them more productive at work
Bosses around the world
- 20% love their boss in Asia
- 16% cannot stand their boss in the Middle East
- 49% in Europe think their boss is just ok
- 71% of Americans love their boss
Time spent with bosses
- 75% people need a meeting or catch up with their boss regularly to help motivate them
- 33% need to see their boss every day to stay motivated
- 20% need to see their boss once per week to stay motivated
- 16% need to see their boss a few times per week to stay motivated
- 13% do not need to see their boss to stay motivated
- 8% need to see their boss once per month
- 8% need to see their boss every other day to stay motivated
- 2% only need to see their boss once every two weeks to stay motivated
51% of employees think their boss NEEDS a hug
The Art of the Hug
Did you know that 73% of the population are PRO-HUGGERS? That leaves 27% to be ANTI-HUGGERS – so pick your hugs carefully.
- The Buddy or Bro Man Hug – a “we are friends” kind of hug
- The Pound Hug – is a combination of a handshake and one-armed hug
- The Polite Hug – is attempting not to touch and is usually accompanied by the ‘polite smile’
- The Quick Hug – a brief squeeze followed by running off in the other direction
- The Squeeze Hug – a tight hug that says “thank you
- The Unreciprocated Hug – the dreaded, otherwise known as the cold shoulder, stiff board with hands hanging at their side, you can be pretty sure they are not happy with you
A hug is a great gift — one size fits all, and it’s easy to exchange. ~Author Unknown
Image: By U.S. Departement of Defense,via Wikimedia Commons
Some Hug Facts for Friday
- 57% of people working in an Office environment believe that “a big bear hug” is acceptable at work over “an uncomfortable squeeze” or “an arms length pat on the back”
- 42% of IT workers would prefer “an arms length pat on the back” over other kinds of hugs
- 75% of people working in Accounting believe that “an arms length pat on the back” is more acceptable at work than “an uncomfortable squeeze” or “a big bear hug”
- 62% of men would prefer to hug a woman instead of a man
- 55% of women would prefer to hug another woman
- 18% would give their boss a “Bear Hug”
- 24% would give their boss a “Dab Handshake”
- 20% would give their boss a “Hand Hug”
- 18% would give their boss a “Pat Hug”
- 18% would give their boss a “Gentle Hug”
- It is alright to announce a hug is coming!
A hug is worth a thousand words. ~Author Unknown
The Essence of the Great Hug
- Longest hug recorded was by Ron O’Neil and Theresa Kerr @ 24 hours and 33 minutes
- The largest group hug was with 10,554 people on May 7. 2010 in Ontario, Canada
- The most hugs given in 24 hours were 8,709 and was achieved by Jonathan Sexton (USA) at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, USA, on 11 June 2010.
Image: Sharyn Morrow, Flickr
For Fun – The Benefits of Appropriate Hugs
Hugging has no unpleasant side effects and is all natural. There are no batteries to replace, it’s inflation-proof and non-fattening with no monthly payments. It’s non-taxable, non-polluting, and is, of course, fully refundable.