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Recognize any of these 6 supervisor profiles?

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,People Management

The hard-driving, ruthless boss—think Donald Trump—may fit the stereotype of today’s most successful corporate executive. But according to a new study by Maritz Research, the most effective work place leaders have a much softer side.

Maritz, a customer and employee research firm, found that honest, caring, cheerful, generous and flexible bosses do the best job motivating employees to deliver great service. That leads, in turn, to greater customer loyalty and better business success.

In the course of its research Maritz identified these six types of supervisors (ranked here in descending order of effectiveness). Recognize any of these characters from your own work place?

Caring mentors 

  • 26% of surveyed employees said their boss was a caring mentor, relating well to direct reports, and greatly appreciated by them. They care about their people, and are cheerful, generous, friendly and flexible.
  • Caring mentors’ employees reported the greatest levels of satisfaction and commitment, as well as the strongest affinity for customers.
  • Employees serving under this type of manager reported the longest tenure in their jobs. 

Respectable professional

  • The most common supervisor type (29%), respectable professionals are highly task driven and conduct business without a great deal of personal involvement.
  • Even so, employees respect them for such attributes such as honesty and reliability.


  • These bosses—about 10% of all supervisors, according to Maritz—are tough, controlling and task-driven. They’re “type A” personalities, highly focused on achieving goals and driving productivity.
  • Nonetheless, employees tend to rate taskmasters highly in terms of ethics and competence, although few admit to preferring this kind of boss.

Likeable loser

  • Although mostly pleasant, the 9% of bosses rated likeable losers get low marks from employees. They see them as incompetent, inconsistent and clueless.
  • Employees give these bosses little respect, and are loyal to them about as much as they are to taskmasters.


  • Glad-handers—about 7% of bosses—come in second to last. Employees often consider them friendly and fun to be around, but…
  • Employees also recognize the dishonesty, unreliability and cluelessness these bosses may bring to the workplace.


  • As many as 19% of supervisors fall into this category. Their employees consider them tough and ruthless. At the same time, direct reports don’t consider these bosses honest, ethical or particularly intelligent.
  • These managers have the lowest employee engagement among all supervisor types. Seventy-one percent of employees with a win-at-any-cost supervisor would fire him or her if they could.


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