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Two-thirds of B.C.’s workforce experienced a horrible boss

By Patrick Colvin

Two-thirds of British Columbia's workforce had experienced a horrible boss. 
(Fotolia)

Two-thirds of British Columbia's workforce had experienced a horrible boss. (Fotolia)

Today’s workforce has employees from four generations, and according to an employment expert, it’s becoming the biggest challenge for leadership moving forward.

Insights West, in partnership with Miles Employment Group and the Vancouver Board of Trade, created the “Dream Employer” poll, which surveyed 3,328 adults from B.C. about their experiences, both positive and negative, in the workforce.

They found that 68% of respondents had experienced “a truly terrible” boss, 66% said their previous boss or manager was a factor in their decision to leave, 80% mentioned a lack of communication from a previous boss and 19% (25% for women) had experienced or witnessed sexual harassment in the workplace.

Sandra Miles, of Miles Employment Group, wasn’t surprised when she read that 66% of respondents left their previous job, in part, due to their boss.

“That’s been happening for many years, they always say, ‘people quit their boss not their company,’” said Miles.

What did stand out to Miles as an emerging issue in the workforce was that 80% of respondents mentioned a lack of communication from a previous boss and 23% have communication issues with their current boss.

“We’re having four generations in the workforce — the traditionalist is ‘write me,’ the baby-boomer is ‘phone me,’ the gen-x’er is ‘email me’ and the millennial is ‘text me,’” said Miles. “It’s changing, and navigating through how people feel they should be communicated with is part of the challenge of leadership today, it’s trying to cascade through all of those generations.”

One of the statistics that stood out to Insights West president Steve Mossop was 19% of respondents reported experiencing or witnessing sexual harassment, and 2% are currently experiencing or witnessing sexual harassment at the current place of employment.

“It’s a big number, you get one-in-five people say they’re experienced it, in this day and age that’s surprising,” said Mossop. “You don’t really expect that in this era, but it still exists, again our goal is awareness, lets look at this and create awareness around the issue and say, ‘this does exist out there and we shouldn’t accept it.’”

 

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