MOST adults have a good idea of the qualities and skills most employers look for in prospective new staff, but new research has turned the tables on this - revealing the attributes that education workers believe make up the ideal boss, and how their managers match up to them.

Research published by workplace incentives and rewards provider, One4all Rewards, in the UK Management Review Whitepaper, polled 1,024 UK employees on the qualities they would value the most in bosses and how their own bosses match up to the perfect picture.

The research revealed that being approachable was the highest valued quality for education workers (40%) - something many would expect from their bosses. Honesty was the second most important quality for 37% of workers in the education industry.

An ideal boss in the education sector would also be fair for more than 1 in 4 (26%) workers and understandably, a similar number (26%) preferred their manager or boss to be sincere.

Another interpersonal quality which was highly coveted in bosses was professionalism – a quarter (25%) of education workers felt strongly about this.

The data also revealed how strong an impact a positive boss-employee relationship can have. 1 in 4 workers in education said that having a good working relationship with their boss would mean they would be more likely to stay at a company for the long term (e.g. 5 years or more).

However, the research found that few managers in the education industry matched up to expectations as just 1 in 5 (20%) felt their boss was approachable.

As for those workers who felt their management should be honest, just 19% the currently describe their bosses this way - suggesting a major gap in trust in many education organisations.

Being fair and sincere took joint third place of qualities for an ideal boss in the education industry; worryingly, both traits appear to be lacking in the education workforce, as just 13% describe their manager as fair and only 6% described their boss as sincere.

Professional skills can sometimes seem like a basic requirement for any management role within education, yet the data could suggest that many are not seeing examples of this in their bosses' behaviour, with just 20% believing their boss is organised.

Alan Smith, UK Managing Director at One4all Rewards, said: "Education bosses should take note - as our research has shown, the relationship an employee has with their boss can be really key. Maintaining these relationships and being a good manager is about more than just the finished product, or numbers on a spreadsheet.

"A good leader inspires workers to want to work hard and has the kind of relationship that means if an employee is having a problem or is unhappy, they will feel comfortable approaching them to discuss it. Similarly, people also need to be able to be able to place a degree of trust in their boss. Without trust and sincerity, feedback - both good and bad - is unlikely to be believed or taken seriously.

Smith continues: "What I find particularly interesting about these findings is how many of the qualities we look for in an employer mirror those a lot of people would also seek out in new friendships outside of the workplace. Bosses don't need to be friends with their employees, but having the basics of a respectful and honest relationship is important. In addition to these findings, our previous research found that 83% of British workers said that being regularly thanked by an employer increases the sense of loyalty they feel to their company.

“There is so much advice out there about the intricacies of leadership that it can be quite easy to sometimes forget that, ultimately, people want to be managed by trustworthy, approachable and organised human beings."

Survey of 1,024 UK workers in full or part-time employment aged 18+, carried out by Opinion Matters.

About One4all Rewards: The corporate division of GVS, the creators of the One4all multi-store Gift Card sold online and throughout the Post Office network in the UK and Ireland. One4all Rewards are industry experts in benefits and rewards. Working with over 6,000 businesses of all sizes nationwide, One4all Rewards helps to transform customer and employee relationships through successful rewards and incentive schemes, to transform employee and customer relationships.

Recognising what motivates and inspires people is very individual. Choice empowers people to do what is important to them, which is why their products are instrumental in transforming relationships.

All products have been created to provide the ultimate choice, whether it’s a flexible employee benefit like the One4all Voluntary Benefits scheme, a customer loyalty scheme with the reward of an individually customised One4all Gift Card or an ongoing employee incentive scheme delivered through the reloadable One4all Reward Card.

The end result of the choice offered by any of One4all Reward’s products will be very personal to the individual. This will be what a business will be remembered for and what is key in transforming relationships.

One4all are ISO accredited and have received great recognition throughout their ten years of trading, the most recent being shortlisted for ‘Best Employee Reward and Recognition Strategy’ in the 2017 Engage Awards. One4all has also been shortlisted for ‘Best Prepaid Card Solution’ and ‘Best Marketing Campaign of the Year’ for Payments Awards 2017 

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