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IT Professionals View Themselves as More Competent Than Their Bosses

Oct 15, 2013 | HANOVER, MD | For media inquiries, please contact us at

Hanover, Md. – October 15, 2013 – TEKsystems® today released the findings of its latest industry survey which explores how IT professionals view their current bosses and the characteristics they would most like to see in an ideal superior. The study, conducted ahead of National Boss’ Day on October 16, finds that while bosses are generally well-liked, more than half of IT professionals surveyed believe that they are more effective than their bosses in a number of important ways.

The study conducted by TEKsystems represents the views of more than 900 IT professionals from companies of all sizes. Key findings include:

Anything Bosses Can Do, Employees Think They Can Do Better

When asked how their bosses stacked up in key areas of creativity (innovation and problem solving), intelligence (strategic thinking and business understanding), reliability (work ethic and follow-through) and HR (people skills and team building), IT professionals indicate that while bosses are fairly effective, they view themselves as more competent, with 54 percent saying that they think they can do their boss’ job better than he/she does.

  • The greatest difference in perceived abilities relates to creativity, with 98 percent of IT professionals rating themselves as excellent or good, while only 69 percent rated their bosses as excellent or good.
  • IT professionals also view themselves as being much more intelligent (90 percent) than their bosses (63 percent).
  • IT professionals feel that they are significantly more reliable than their bosses with positive ratings for 98 percent and 80 percent, respectively.
  • With regard to handling HR issues, 73 percent of IT professionals rated their bosses as being excellent or good, just slightly lower than they rated themselves (79 percent).

"It’s critically important for IT leaders to create forums for employees to present ideas and potential solutions for business, IT and other organizational challenges. Clearly IT employees feel they have something to offer that their bosses don’t and not hearing them out may be a missed opportunity for the business." says Jason Hayman, TEKsystems Research Manager.

Bosses Should Be Leaders, Not Friends

IT professionals indicate that the quality they want most from a boss is the ability to be a goal setter by providing clear direction and expectations for employees. However, survey respondents mainly view their bosses as Cheerleaders who are more focused on maintaining a positive attitude and outlook at all times.

  • Other characteristics where bosses meet employees’ top 10 most wanted qualities include being a Promoter (acknowledging achievements and giving employees credit for their work), a Solomon (forcing tough decisions), a Collaborator (adjusting direction based on employee input) and a Defender (ready to support employees when needed).
  • However, employees also indicate that they want their bosses to be Mentors (providing positive or negative feedback), Challengers (proving opportunities to tackle new tasks and promoting professional growth), Problem Solvers (addressing issues getting in the way of productivity), Humble Joes (admitting when they are wrong) and Stretch Armstrongs (offering employees flexibility in getting their job done), but they do not feel that their current boss possesses these qualities. 
  • Seventy-six percent of IT professionals indicated that they do not socialize with their bosses outside of work hours. This does not seem to negatively affect their views of their boss, with 73 percent of respondents rating their overall relationship with their boss as either excellent or good. 

"While the typical ‘bad boss’ is often seen as negative and overly demanding, IT professionals want a leader that not only acknowledges good results, but also is unafraid to offer constructive feedback even if it is negative,” states Hayman. “Employees are not looking to become best friends with their boss and many of them would like to avoid it. An effective boss provides strong, actionable feedback that allows employees to grow professionally and thrive in the workplace, benefiting the company as well as the individual."

TEKsystems' Jason Hayman is available for additional commentary. For more information
about the survey or to schedule an interview please contact Rick McLaughlin (

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.