The third Friday of each August is “Hug Your Boss Day.” This year Friday, August 22nd will highlight workplace relationships, build awareness of the employee/boss relationship and value the importance that managerial style affects employee job satisfaction and wellbeing. Will your boss be hugged today?
National “Hug Your Boss Day” was created in 2008. With an average of 40 hours per week being spent on the job, it makes sense that working relationships be kept healthy and positive. If one has constructive relationships with their colleagues and managers, personal motivation is present and the company benefits with a positive increase in productivity. To coin an old phrase, it creates a win-win situation.
What does it take to want to hug your boss?
All bosses are not created equal. Having a truly great boss is the exception and not the rule. . A great boss not only impacts his or her current team, but mentors the leaders of the future by example. Being a great communicator, having very high integrity along with tremendous perseverance and stamina are just some of the key personality traits that create a great leader.
Some bosses are where they are because of being promoted when they were in the right place, at the right time. Some were made managers because of seniority. Some were never provided with any coaching or training. Some bosses are simply modeling the behavior of the managers that promoted them. That results in the never-ending circle of perpetuating what went on before them.
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 that will be hugged today!
How can employees get hugged, too?
Let’s not forget that being a great employee has some 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.
- Develop strategies that help them minimize the differences and maximize the similarities with your boss.
- Build trust. Be true to your word. Do what your 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
- Your manager needs to be managed (and hugged)…by you
Many years ago I learned a powerful lesson from a great boss by watching him manage his boss. The lesson was – my # 1 job is to make my boss more successful. He also taught me that if my people failed, I had to look at myself. Because bosses come with unique strengths and weaknesses, knowing and understanding both your boss’ style and yours is essential to making and keeping your boss happy – along with occasionally being hugged.
Working for a “fogey” requires patience, while working for a “whippersnapper” requires tolerance. “Social directors” want to talk and talk and talk, while “dictators” simply want you to follow orders. Yes, you can manage them all.
What is your boss’ management style? How does it compare to yours?
Although managers come in every size, shape and flavor, each will have their own “default” style. Some managers may consistently use a single style where others may blend styles depending on the situation. It is important to note that there are definitely pros and cons with each style and there is also a time and place when each style will be effective. No one style is all good or all bad. Each style can still be hugged!
As with fashion, management styles come and go. Some may be ‘in vogue’ for a period of time however good basic principles never really change.
- Autocratic – the sole decision maker without much input from employees, reflecting the opinions and personality of the manager, mobilizes team toward a common vision focused on end goals
- Bureaucratic – this manager manages by the book, team members must follow rules and procedures accurately and consistently
- Chaotic – this is a relatively new style used in startup organizations, employees are given great creativity – not only in meeting goals, but in setting them, requires the ability and willingness to fail, flat structure with authority based around departments or divisions with total control over the decision-making process
- Charismatic – these managers are focused on themselves and their own ambitions, influences others through power of personality
- Consultative – this manager makes decisions that take into account employee needs by listening to feedback but the flow of information is almost exclusively top-down
- Creative / Innovative – this manager provides a continuous innovation stream comes from controlled chaos, manager sees what is not working and brings new thinking and action into play by uniquely inspiring people
- Democratic – decisions are made with the majority’s agreement by building builds consensus through participation, decision making is slow, but there is more employee buy-in
- Laissez-faire – described as a ‘hands off’ approach, team facilitator, mentor and stimulator, employees manage their own areas of the business
- Management by Objective (MBO) – popular style developed by Peter Drucker, management system where the objective of the organization are agreed on by management and employees with a common way forward to achieve them
- Management by Walking Around (MBWA)– a classic technique used by proactive listeners, involves managers gathering information and viewpoints from employees which can then be fed back into the decision-making process
- Pace Setter – this manager expects and models excellence and self-direction, sets high performance standards for self and the group
- Paternalistic – this is similar to the autocratic style where all the power rests in the hands of a single person, decisions are made for the best interest of the company as well as the employees
- Persuasive – this manager maintains control over the entire decision-making process and focuses on convincing every one of the team there will be benefits to them
- Transformational – makes changes happen in self, others, groups, works from the concept that team members agree to obey their leader when they accept a job
Did you know?
- 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, and
- 25% felt their bosses make them feel devalued to the point that they wanted to quit their job, and
- 14% felt that bosses caused them stress and headaches.
A few more stats:
- The most popular style of management was the “Directive” one
- 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
- 71% of Americans LOVE their boss
- 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
- 75% of people working in Accountancy believe that “an arm’s length pat on the back” is acceptable
- 42% of those working in IT feel the same
- 57% of people working in an Office environment believe that “a big bear hug” is acceptable at work over “an uncomfortable squeeze” or “an arm’s length pat on the back”.
- 86% believe that if they LIKE their boss then it makes them more productive at work
Being bossy is a job. Leading is a career.
- Longest hug recorded was by Ron O’Neil and Theresa Kerr @ 24 hours and 33 minutes
- Largest group hug was with 10,554 people on May 7. 2010 in Ontario, Canada
- The most hugs given in 24 hours is 8,709 and was achieved by Jonathan Sexton (USA) at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, USA, on 11 June 2010.
For some fun, why not Create your boss online?
The Office’s Michael Scott, World’s Best Boss
Celebrating National Hug Your Boss Day
Have you hugged your boss today?
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”
~ Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher and founder of the system of Taoism