27 September 2023

Paying out: Why a good boss is better than a pay rise

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Brigette Hyacinth* says the quality of an organisation’s management is a crucial, but often overlooked selling point to new employees.


The worst place an employee can be is stuck in an organisation with a micro-manager who doesn’t care about their development and with no opportunities for growth and advancement.

In my early career, I worked for a bad boss who put profit before people and sought to gain every ounce of productivity out of employees.

We didn’t even stop to celebrate the teams’ successes.

It was about quickly moving along to the next goal.

There was no real leadership (vision and inspiration) only management (command and control).

The culture was basically do as you are told.

Suggestions and recommendations by employees and even results of viewpoint surveys were often ignored.

Employees became disengaged and focused solely on their salary and looked forward to the weekends.

This was the only high point.

Most individuals did nothing extra outside of their job specifications.

The workload was unfeasible. However at 4pm on the dot, employees could be seen leaving the office, as if there was a fire drill taking place.

Team spirit and morale was extremely low and I felt stifled. Thus, I didn’t stay there very long.

Many other individuals wanted to leave but because of debts or accumulated retirement earnings remained.

Today that organisation is no longer in operation.

No matter how great an organisation’s products or services may be, if management is dysfunctional, it will have serious problems.

The typical ‘bad boss’ spends their time directing and monitoring employees rather than empowering them.

Micromanaging is oppressive, fosters anxiety and creates a high-stress work environment.

Eventually, employees will become disenchanted and quit to work somewhere else.

A bad boss can take a good staff and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation.

It’s time organisations realised that all the money or perks in the world, will not retain good staff if they have a bad boss who makes their time at work miserable.

A boss sets the tone.

One study found that a bad boss can take a negative toll on employees’ mental and physical health.

A bad boss can make employees sick.

Employees yearn for good bosses — a recent study found that 56 per cent of employees would turn down a 10 per cent raise to stay with a great boss.

There is nothing like having a boss who genuinely cares about their team.

They make the working experience so much better.

They support, empower and appreciate their employees.

Employees will be willing to do more and give more.

Most organisations don’t think about great managers as a benefit, or publicise that benefit to prospective employees, but it is the best incentive in retaining good employees.

* Brigette Hyacinth founded the MBA Caribbean Organisation which conducts seminars and workshops in leadership, management and education. She can be contacted at www.mbacaribbean.org.

This article first appeared on Brigette’s blogsite.

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