HR · 20 August 2015

North East of England bosses beware, you’re more likely to be hated than regional counterparts

Bosses based in the South were more likely to give praise to their workers than those in the North
Bosses based in the South were more likely to give praise to their workers than those in the North

The north-south divide gets mentioned in numerous contexts, but according to new research from office space search engine Office Genie, it also exists in regards to how workers in the respective regions view their bosses.

While nearly a quarter of workers in the North East of England thought their managers lacked people skills, just 8.3 per cent of southern workers felt the same way. Communication in general seemed to be a problem for those surveyed in the north, as 15.6 per cent felt those in charge weren’t good at communicating, with the same figure suggesting their boss was patronising towards workers.

Of the 1,008 workers surveyed, communication was flagged as the biggest issue elsewhere too, though it was mentioned by 10.9 per cent of respondents in the South – nearly 50 per cent less than those in the North East of England.

When asked to assess their boss’s management style, over a quarter of southern office workers said they gave praise. Conversely, those in the North East of England said their bosses were miserly with praise and nearly a fifth (17.8 per cent) feeling workers were never praised.

Ciaron Dunne, Office Genie’s CEO, said: “It’s unclear why there should be such a divide between North and South of the country, but it’s evident that developing and maintaining a strong relationship between colleagues and bosses in the office is vital.”

He added that a negative relationship between management and workers can lead to a decrease in motivation among employees, as well as damage their feeling of goodwill, “which can seriously damage a company’s productivity and overall success”.

It can be easy for employers to neglect offering sufficient feedback and praise amid all the stress of running a business, but Dunne said it’s crucial to keeping spirit among employees up and let them know how they’re doing. “A simple ‘well done’ goes a long way and boosts morale, while maintaining the lines of communication will ensure the business runs smoothly,” he added.

Other qualities North Eastern employees felt their bosses had included laziness and being unfair (11.1 per cent), as well as not being a team player (8.9 per cent). This compared to 5.2 per cent, 4.8 per cent and 3.9 per cent of those in the South who thought their employers possessed such negative attributes.

A recent survey from suggested there were other ways bosses could garner favour among their employees, that extended beyond standard personality traits. It asked workers what else employers could do to make them more popular, with top picks including giving workers their birthdays off, letting them leave early on a Friday and a constant supply of office sweets. Costlier choices included a free gym membership and a team spa day.

Image: Shutterstock

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Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

Work and Wellbeing