x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Half of workers don't mind if the boss is a woman

More than 50 per cent of workers do not mind if their boss is male or female, according to a survey.

ABU DHABI // More than 50 per cent of workers do not mind if their boss is male or female, according to a survey released yesterday.

However, 44 per cent of those questioned for Al Aan TV's Nabd al Arab, ("Arabs' Pulse") programme by YouGov Siraj, admitted that to be a good boss, then the boss has to be male.

YouGov Siraj interviewed 759 residents of all nationalities, and found that few Emiratis (5.5pc), Arab expatriates (6pc), Asians (4.6pc) and westerners (7pc) believed women make better bosses than men.

Sixty two per cent of Emiratis said that for a boss to be good, they should be male. That attitude spanned all nationalities other than westerners, of which 17 per cent said that men make the best bosses.

Two thirds (69pc) of all those working and reporting to someone senior said they were either extremely or somewhat satisfied with their boss.

But one in six (16pc) were ambivalent while 15.5 per cent either dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied.

That level of dissatisfaction, according to Talib Al Hashimi, of Next Level Management and Recruitment Consultancy, is on the rise. "I've seen an increase in dissatisfied employees in the past few years," he said, "especially among UAE nationals who are now willing to take a pay cut for job satisfaction.

"After the downturn, many left for Abu Dhabi to work. But two years down the line, there's a realisation that people are willing to move and try the private sector for instance, in order to find job satisfaction, which is increasingly important."

Of those who were unhappy with their boss, two in five believed he or she tended to have favourites, while just as many (48pc) said their boss was ill-qualified to manage them.

Worryingly, 27 per cent believed fraud was frequently committed in the workplace. "That's consistent with what I've been hearing - people do believe and there have been instances of fraud, mismanagement, wasta, nepotism in the workplace" said Mr Al Hashimi.

Further down the scale of offences, two in five thought minor theft of company property, such as stationary or work equipment, occurred regularly.

Almost as many (38pc) said private information was often misused at work, and that inappropriate relationships at work - between a boss and an employee for instance - were common (31pc).

Thirty six per cent admitted they had either pretended to be sick in order to take a day off work - or intended to. Only a little more than half (56pc) said they would not consider it.

All this contributes to an atmosphere of disloyalty; four in five (80pc) said they would switch jobs in return for higher pay or a better package.

And while two thirds believed flexible working hours would result in more motivation and better productivity, 83 per cent would also like to see regular incentives and perks.

Maysoon Baraky, the presenter of Nabd Al Arab, said the survey "reflected an issue that has always been a main topic for employees - their boss".

While it was hardly surprising, she said, that many workers regarded their boss as incompetent, "we cannot ignore the importance of the financial part ... 78 per cent are ready to change their job for a better financial status".

hhamid@thenational.ae