A survey ahead of Boss Day, a US national day which falls on October 16th this year, revealed that 6 in 10 employees in the UK think they could do the job better than their superiors.

  • 60% of millennials (21-34-year olds) believed they could do a better job than their boss.
  • 70% of department heads said they could be a better manager than their supervisor.
  • 83% of responders in the Construction industry also believed they would be better than their boss.

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

The answers came from across multiple sectors and varying levels of management with an unsurprising upward trend.  The higher up the managerial ladder the responder was, the more likely they were to believe that they would be better suited to being a boss –70% of department heads said that they would be a better choice.

The more surprising figure comes from the 58% of cocky entry level respondents that, even without experience, think they would better their boss.

The industry that had the highest number of respondents claim to be able to beat their boss was those in the construction industry, with 83% feeling up to the task of being in charge.

In retail 68% of employees asked were confident about taking the reins from their supervisors, with IT employees following closely behind, 66% in this sector said they could do it better.

Jeremy Fletcher, CEO and founder of change-management consultancy Transform Finance, believes that the answer may lie in perception:

“Employees are often not exposed to the full range of their boss’s role, nor the pressures or constraints that they are under.

“This lack of visibility can make a job look far easier than it actually is”

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 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”