The Boss Barometer measures tech employee burnout

Turns out most tech employees think their boss is standing in their way and behind the curve, according to a new survey released just in time for National Boss' Day on October 16.

Top 5 ways to avoid IT burnout Tom Merritt offers IT workers five tips to avoid burning out on the job.

Skilled tech workers have the privilege, and boast, of being in demand. They're popular. They're wanted, really wanted. And while they are generally well compensated, they work long hours. The consequence of the weight of the demand is job burnout, and this is definitely not a good thing for anyone, as employees can become less productive and are less likely to value company loyalty.

This potential burnout certainly doesn't mean that a relationship with their managers isn't important to tech workers. While at work, they share the sentiments as the general working world:  

You're responsible, you're not afraid to work and you want your opinion to count: this is the consensus of more than 1,000 employees surveyed in "The Boss Barometer" released today by Kimble Applications, just in time for National Boss' Day on October 16.

Americans want more responsibility and for their opinion to be impactful at work, said 72% of those polled. Further, 83% wish their boss or manager would ask their opinion or input more often.

Tech workers feel a shade differently about work than the general employed populace. They do, however, share a similar attitude in regards to the relationship between boss and employee. And it's not necessarily a great match-up. A majority of US employees (66%) feel they'd perform just as well, if not better, without their boss' input.

SEE: How to build a successful project manager career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Employees don't have a lot of confidence in their bosses, and 23% don't believe their managers are always the most qualified to make decisions. What they are confident in is their own abilities, with 63% eager to take over their micromanaging boss' job if it was offered to them today. 

And in the tech industry, personality and suitableness aside, employees are skilled enough to take over a manager's position.

"Ironically, in many tech companies," Kimble Application's Mark Robinson said, "employees are promoted into a management role from within when they would be better suited to stay in their previous technical position. You may be an incredibly talented programmer or engineer, but lack the skills or desire that are required for effective management. From my perspective, bosses in the tech industry are actually less likely to be hired for their management skills from the outside, and perhaps too often are hired from within based just on their tech skills."

And the consequences of such high-demand jobs for the tech industry brings a lack of commitment from both employee and boss. 

"From my experience," Robinson said, "there tends to be a higher rate of employee turnover in the tech industry—these are in-demand skills, and workers are presented with more enticing opportunities to switch jobs. So, tech bosses may think that it's less important to invest in their staff, since they'll just end up leaving anyway. This is the wrong way to think about it. Investing more in your employees through coaching and mentorship will help your organization differentiate from the competition."

Other Boss Barometer results show:

  • 22% do not believe that their manager is honest with them for the most part 
  • 30% find it difficult to themselves be honest with their manager
  • 33% say that their boss or manager has taken credit for their work or contributions
  • 29% do not believe that they are given adequate credit for their work
  • 64% say that their boss has had a positive impact on their career growth and trajectory
  • 57% say that their manager is invested in their career growth and aspirations.
  • 88% still say that they respect their boss
  • 81% believe that their boss respects them.
  • 36% believe the ability to motivate is the most important skill for a boss or manager to have in 2019
  • 27% believe the ability to coach/train is the most important skill for a boss or manager to have in 2019
  • 21% believe the ability to make decisions is the most important skill for a boss or manager to have in 2019
  • 14% believe the ability to delegate is the most important skill for a boss or manager to have in 2019
  • 74% believe a team atmosphere was also considered very important, with a large majority preferring a collaborative working culture, as opposed to one where the manager makes most of the decisions.

"Today's employees thrive when their leaders motivate, coach and provide enough independence to develop skills that can have a real impact on the business and their own careers," Robinson said in a press release. "These are all key principles of what we call Agile management . I believe that businesses that implement this type of Agile philosophy, where employees are given autonomy to make decisions, and encouraged to try new things, will thrive. Organizations that continue to operate in a highly hierarchical culture, where decisions are consistently made without consultation, will be left behind."

For more, check out Does a 30-hour work week make sense for your business? Lessons from Amazon and How to negotiate a flexible schedule with your company on TechRepublic. 

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Image: iStockphoto/fizkes