• 19th January 2007 - By proteman

    A recent article in Chief Learning Officer’s online magazine has the headline, “Majority of Employees Don’t Seek Advice from Boss.” Is this news?

    The article cites research from CO2 Partners, whose President, Gary Cohen, states that “someone’s immediate report would be the logical starting place for advice…”

    Really? I’m not at all surprised that only about 10% of survey respondents ask their supervisors for advice on workplace issues. Even when employee-manager relationships are at their best, it is still a direct-reporting relationship. There are some issues that are best discussed with a peer or mentor, particularly if the issue is one involving the supervisor. Peer-coaching makes an organization strong and encourages networking. It discourages employees from becoming too dependent on their supervisors for advice and answers.

    Employees seeking advice from others (rather than their supervisors) only becomes a problem when issues are being side-stepped and conversations with the boss are being avoided. Asking peers or mentors for advice should never replace candid, regular performance discussions with supervisors.

    What do you think?

  • One Response to “Majority of Employees Don’t Seek Boss’ Advice. Why Worry?”

    • GCohen on January 20, 2007

      I find the research we did at CO2 Partners disturbing. When I am working with clients and do 360 interviews with their team and find there are large gaps between perspectives. I know there is a great opportunity to bring those views together. I know I have been successful when the gap closes and the client can do thier own 360 without an outside observer and get the same outcome. The walls between employees and employers are too large and continues to lead to the trend of people distrusting companies – either as an employee or consumer. Asking advise and learning to ask questions is a good way to begin bringing down these barriers.

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