Seventy-seven percent of Americans hate their jobs. This from a Gallup poll reported in TIME's Work in Progress blog by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. (I first saw it in Diane Pfadenhauer's Strategic HR Lawyer blog.) Not a good statistic.
On the other hand, 90% of managers think they're in the top 10% of performers. This from a BusinessWeek poll of 2,000 US executives and middle managers (article here, poll results here). (Rob May's Businesspundit.com turned me on to these results.) Most of these respondents are, of course, wrong — and suffering from the Lake Wobegon effect.
Taking these two polls together leads to some conclusions. Most managers think they're swell (and executives are even worse — 97% put themselves in the top decile). But they can't all be that good. And if more than three fourths of their employees hate their jobs, then most of the managers must really stink.
Universal truth: Inept managers lead to disgruntled employees, which in turn lead to diminishing profits. (And employee lawsuits, of course.)
Parallel universal truth: Ept managers lead to gruntled employees, which in turn lead to minishing profits. (And fewer lawsuits.)
Now ept may be no more real a word than gruntled (or minishing for that matter), but your managers won't notice because they're too busy patting themselves on the back (and their employees are too busy working on their résumés). Focus on making your managers more ept (epter?), and you'll end up with fewer employees hating their jobs.