Everyone’s had a boss that they don’t think is up to scratch, maybe even one they think is out and out useless – but in the UK it seems to be a problem of colossal proportions!

The survey of 500 UK employees, conducted by bgo.com, saw 60% of respondents say they believed they could better their boss.

  • 65% of 21-24-year olds believed they could do a better job than their boss.
  • 57% of staff in the travel industry answered that they could be a better manager.
  • 83% of responses in the Construction industry also believed they would be better than their boss.

One of the industries that followed the 6/10 pattern was the hospitality & catering jobs sector where 60% of responses believed they could do a better job than their boss!

Surprisingly though, this percentage generally went down the higher the position of the responder was, with 66% of Junior managers, 63% of senior managers and 60% of heads of department, believing they would do a superior job to their boss.

Similarly, across all sectors, 65% of 21-24-year olds believed they could do a better job than their boss. Is it just the arrogance of youth or is it something more? Could it be that business in the UK are in need of an overhaul?

More likely perhaps that it could be the result of a misperception – it’s easy for someone to get lost in the image that they’re doing all the work while remaining completely unaware of the effort being put in by their superiors behind the scenes. Essentially, being unaware of what a boss or line manager does in detail leads to a belief that they would be able to do a better job. But with so many responders high up the chain of management, is this the only answer?

Another possible explanation is that a lack of influence that makes giving an opinion seem easier. As Carl Williams, Director at Williams Talent Management Consultancy points out: “Spectators always have more to say on how to do stuff if they know the comfort of their spectators’ seat isn’t under threat of change”

But what do you think? Is there something to be said for letting a younger or less experienced employee have a crack at management or is it all their inflated ego? Let us know what you think in the comments below!