An interesting story appeared in the careers section of today’s Globe and Mail. Entitled “Sorry, boss, but everyone hates you,” it discusses an analysis of a decade of surveys representing the opinions of 50,000 employees in Canada and the United States. It is probably no surprise that the majority expressed varying degrees of antipathy toward their bosses. Particularly instructional, however, and I would think pertinent to school administrators, are the reasons for their ill-feelings:
- 66% said that management doesn’t listen to their concerns, and 67% said management doesn’t act on their suggestions.
- 56% felt that management doesn’t accord them respect.
- 40% felt they don’t have sufficient authority to discharge their duties properly.
- 52% felt that if they make known their opinions, they will face retribution.
While I realize this in no way describes every work environment, in my teaching experience the survey elements were present in sufficient degree to frequently contribute to low staff morale. Ultimately, of course, the solution can only come when the bosses realize that they need the goodwill of the staff in order for the organization to run properly. Unfortunately, not everyone who becomes an administrator is temperamentally suited to discharge his/her duties effectively.
Perhaps in the future, school boards will consider the use of a battery of psychological tests before promoting people to positions of additional responsibility.