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5 things your boss won’t tell you

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There are a few unspoken rules in most offices, but none are as interesting as the things the bosses know, but won’t tell you they know.

If you’re the type of employees who thinks they’re getting away with pretend illnesses or ‘sneaky’ office relationships, then this list is for you.

1. They know when you’re faking an MC

According to a poll by ST Jobs, Singaporean employees only took an average of four sick days in 2013 from their total entitlement of 14 days on average. Not bad… but what about those who do take advantage of their MC days?

Most employees are honest (a CareerBuilder survey found two thirds of staff only call in sick when they’re reallysick) but there are always those who will use any excuse to say they are ill

And if you’re one of them, your boss is well aware of what you’re doing.

According to a survey by Accountemps, a quarter of bosses believe their employees are faking sick days and 30% said they have checked in on an employee to make sure they’re actually sick.

Bosses: if you’re trying to figure out a way to reduce the amount of sick leave your staff are taking, click here.

2. They really do play favourites sometimes

You probably already knew this, but there are plenty of employers out there who play favourites.

In fact, a study from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business found 84% of senior executives agree that favouritism takes place at their organisation – but only 23% would admit to practicing it themselves.

The study defined favouritism as giving “preferential treatment based on factors unrelated to a person’s abilities, such as background, ideology or gut instincts”, but whether this is in regards to how much work they decide to delegate to their ‘favourite’ or their decision to promote someone, very few bosses will ever admit it happens.

“No one at this level of executive was going to admit it blatantly,” said the report’s author Jonathan Gardner.

3. They might just hire you because they think you’re good looking and fun to hang out with

Don’t believe some bosses really hire based on looks? Just ask Abercrombie & Fitch’s controversial CEO.

But in actual fact, more than half of bosses have admitted in recent research to hiring people based on their looks, or because they are “good to hang out with”. In a recent American Sociological Review journal, bosses admitted they are more likely to hire people with similar interests and hobbies to them.

“Of course employers are looking for people who have the baseline of skills to effectively do the job, but beyond that, employers really want people who they will bond with, who they will feel good around, who will be their friend and maybe even their romantic partner,” Dr Lauren Rivera, sociologist and assistant professor of management and organisations, told The Daily Mail.

“As a result, employers don’t necessarily hire the most skilled candidates.”

4. They 100% know you and your colleague are in a secret relationship

Yes, your boss knows you and that guy from marketing are having a clandestine affair – that much is almost certain, particularly if you work in a smallish office. But it’s whether he or she cares that you should be concerned about.

The fact that you can’t look each other in the eye, have started leaving and arriving to work together and always go to lunch together has pretty much given it away.

In fact, if you’re guilty of any of these 9 signs of an office relationship, then it’s pretty much guaranteed your boss knows about your not-so-secret lover.

5. They know how much you appreciate it when they go the extra mile

The good thing is, the best bosses in the world know exactly how they can make you smile – and that sometimes it’s the little things that count.

Your boss might tell you it’s “not a big deal” for you to leave half an hour early today, but he or she knows exactly how happy that will make you, and that they’ll see more productive results from you the next day – and a happier demeanour – because of it.

If you’re still not convinced bosses can actually be the best people in the world, read these amazing real life boss stories.



Asia’s most renowned regional HR Excellence Awards is back in October in Malaysia to sieve out HR’s finest gems. Are you a diamond in the rough? View the categories and find out more.

 
Rebecca Lewis
Editor
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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