TROY, MI--(Marketwire - Nov 22, 2011) - Communication and leadership style have emerged as the critical attributes that employees say distinguish the best bosses, according to the latest survey results from global workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services®.

And the question of who make the best bosses is disputed across generational lines. Both Gen Y (aged 18-29) and Gen X (aged 30-47) believe that Gen X make the best bosses, but baby boomers (aged 48-65) believe that their own generation are the superior business leaders.

When asked to rate their bosses, employees across all generations delivered a modest passing grade for their performance, with a score of 6.6 out of 10.

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 97,000 people in 30 countries including more than 18,000 in the United States.

"What we are hearing from employees is that it's not necessarily the experience or qualifications that they admire in their leaders but the soft skills that demonstrate a great deal more about the individual and their leadership style," says Kelly Services Executive Vice President and General Manager, Michael Webster. "These attributes play a significant role in how successful managers attract and retain talent."

Results of the survey in the United States show:

  • More than one-third of respondents (40 percent) describe their organization's leadership culture as either "empowering" or "inclusive." A total of 31 percent describe it as "authoritative" or "oppressive."
  • Only 49 percent of Gen Y respondents say that their bosses have done a good job in preparing them for future success, but this decreases to 44 percent for Gen X and 39 percent for baby boomers.
  • Slightly more than half (52 percent) of respondents say that their efforts at work are recognized and rewarded, while 39 percent say they are not, and 9 percent don't know.
  • Among those who are recognized for their work, more than two-thirds (70 percent) say this takes the form of being "noticed by management," while 14 percent receive bonuses, and 11 percent are acknowledged through formal programs.
  • Approximately half (54 percent) of those surveyed would be willing to recommend their current employer to a friend or acquaintance.

"Employees are among the most informed observers of any business, and they are making daily judgements that they share among scores of colleagues and friends," Webster says. "The way that businesses select and promote their managers is now in the open, thanks largely to social media, and this is helping to shape attitudes about the most desirable places to work."

For more information about these survey results and other key global and generational findings, please visit the Kelly Global Workforce Index page in the Kelly Press Room.

About the Kelly Global Workforce Index™
The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Approximately 97,000 people from the Americas, APAC and EMEA responded to the 2011 survey with results published on a quarterly basis. Kelly Services was the recipient of a MarCom Platinum Award in 2010 and a Gold Award in 2009 for the Kelly Global Workforce Index in the Research/Study category.

About Kelly Services®
Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than 530,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2010 was $5 billion. Visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter.

Contact Information:

Media contact:

Jane Stehney
Kelly Services, Inc.