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Research – Press releases

1 April 2005

Working Families


The boss from hell may be a dying breed, according to new research from Lloyds TSB and Working Families who are searching for the UK’s Best Boss 2005. Two fifths (39 per cent) of Brits say their boss is just a ‘Pussycat’ at heart compared to one fifth (21 per cent) who are working for a ‘Tyrant’.

Lloyds TSB and Working Families, organisers of the Britain’s Best Boss awards, have analysed the management styles of different bosses and identified four boss types; the Tyrant, the Pussycat, the Entertainer, and the Leader.

Encouragingly, a third (32 per cent) of those surveyed put their boss in the ‘Leader’ category viewing their boss as inspiring, motivational and concerned with the wellbeing of their staff. However, according to the UK’s workforce, it would appear bosses’ management styles vary widely depending on the industry they work in.

Transport bosses are more likely to be ruthless ‘Tyrants’ who put profit before people, with 32 per cent of bosses being put into this category compared to a national average of 21 per cent. Bosses from the IT and Telecoms industries are ten times more likely to adopt a David Brent like style and be the ‘Entertainer’ compared to Media bosses (12 per cent compared to 1 per cent) who are more likely to be pushovers and fall into the management category of Pussycats. But, it’s good news for those who work in Retail, with more retail workers (38 per cent) classing their boss as an effective ‘Leader’ who values their staff, than any other industry.

Fiona Cannon, head of equality and diversity at Lloyds TSB, said: "It’s great news that so many people view their boss as a true leader who cares about their employees. One of the keys to being a good boss is to recognise and understand the importance of work-life balance and that’s exactly the type of manager that we’re searching for to claim the title of Britain’s Best Boss 2005."

 Sarah Jackson, Working Families, said: "We know that managers who have found work-life balance works for their teams are the best persuaders of their peers. It’s already clear that employees around the country really appreciate bosses who help them to balance their responsibilities at work and at home. But there’s still time for nominations to be made for more great bosses at www.workingfamilies.org.uk."

To get a nomination form for Britain’s Best Boss 2005 Tel 020 7253 7243 or download one from www.workingfamilies.org.uk. The closing date for nominations is 3 May 2005.

  Respondents were asked to identify their boss among the following boss types:

The Tyrant
Dictatorial and ruthless, favouring short term gains over long term success, putting profit before people.

The Pussycat
Tries hard to be an effective leader but doesn’t always get it right, letting their heart rule their head too often.

The Entertainer
More interested in being an entertainer and everyone’s best friend, than an effective leader.

The Leader
Inspiring and motivational, encouraging teamwork, relationship-building and the personal development of staff.

Notes to editors:
1703 people were surveyed by tickbox.net in March 2005

About the competition
Lloyds TSB and Working Families are looking for individuals who have taken practical steps to help their staff balance their work and home lives by encouraging flexible working, being understanding about family emergencies and making sure no one is working long hours. The Best Boss competition was first launched in 2000 to celebrate the unsung local heroes who show other managers how a happy team with balanced lives makes for a ‘win-win’ situation for everyone.

  About Working Families
Working Families, formerly Parents At Work and New Ways to Work, is a campaigning charity which supports and gives a voice to working parents and carers. It also helps employers create workplaces which encourage work-life balance for everyone. In addition to the Best Boss competition, it runs the Employer of the Year Awards, which recognise organisations, rather than individuals, and for which employers nominate themselves. The Working Families Free Legal Helpline (0800 013 0313) can help parents and carers negotiate the flexible hours they want.

For more information:
Amy Davies/ Sacha Hardy
Lloyds TSB Press Office
Tel: 020 7356 1714
[email protected]

Maggy Meade-King
Working Families
Tel: 020 7253 7243
[email protected]

© Work-Life balance part of The Work Foundation 2005