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Lead Your Team Managing

Bosses Aren't Doing Enough to Inspire Employees, Research Finds

inspiring-group-11121202 Credit: Dreamstime.com

They do the hiring and they do the firing, but new research shows bosses aren't doing enough inspiring.

Conducted by the Global Institute for Inspiration, a research-based learning and consultancy firm specializing in assisting organizations to increase workplace and consumer inspiration, the study found that 65 percent of employees aren't inspired by their supervisors at work.

The research suggests younger workers and women are more likely to be inspired by their boss. Specifically, younger workers under the age of 34 were 16 percent more likely to find their boss inspiring than their baby boomer co-workers, while women were 10 percent more likely than men to rate their boss as inspiring .

The bosses themselves, however, have a very different view. In a 2010 survey, more than 80 percent of bosses rated themselves a 7 on an inspiration scale of 1 to 10.

"There is a huge disparity between how bosses perceive themselves versus how their direct reports perceive them when it comes to being inspiring," said Terry Barber, chief executive officer of the Global Institute for Inspiration.  "No boss wants to be thought of as less than inspiring."

Barber believes it's important for companies to be aware of the survey results, since past research shows organizations with higher levels of inspiration also have significantly higher levels of employee satisfaction, commitment, engagement and trust.

The research was based on surveys of more than 8,500 employees in the United States and United Kingdom.


Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.