For the record, I love my boss. I really do. She’s great. And now that I’m done with my regularly scheduled groveling (in case I get outed), let’s talk about your boss.
I got an e-mail from the founder of eBoss Watch, announcing his new website. (I didn’t want to list his name because who knows if his boss knows? If he contacts me again and approves the use of his name, I’ll include it.)
My gut reaction? I don’t like it. The theory is you can rate your boss (good or bad) and then people can look up their potential boss to help make a decision.
The problem is, you don’t know the people doing the ratings and there are tons of reasons for the rating to be biased. Getting a low increase or a bad project doesn’t mean your boss is bad, it may mean you are bad. But, because you don’t know who is doing the rating, you don’t know which one it is.
I know the rate-my-professor type sites have been around for a while and I don’t like them either. I do training as part of my job and have surveys filled out at the end of each class. Most of the feedback is positive and we implement any good ideas that come through. Once in a while I get a “this class stunk like rotten potatoes” (if you’ve never smelled those, you are lucky).
Even though the surveys are anonymous (and done electronically, so I can’t even look at handwriting), I have a pretty good idea who wrote the survey. It’s the woman in the back row, who is taking the class only because she’ll get her access to our HRIS cut off if she doesn’t. She has spent most of the class surfing the internet and reading her e-mails. Writing e-mails too. (Do you really think the trainer can’t tell when you are typing during class? We can. We’re just that smart. Plus, she’s the same one that has to ask repeated questions because she wasn’t paying attention in the first place.)
Those results don’t bother me one bit, because they are placed in context of the other results. The problem with E-boss Watch (and similar sites) is that there is no context. I don’t know the rater, the rater doesn’t know me. I don’t know if the rater just got a raise (and therefore is feeling all warm and fuzzy about his boss) or just got fired (and is bitter and angry).
I agree that sometimes you can get blindsided by a bad boss, but I think there are two sides to every story. I want both sides–or at least one of the sides to come from someone I trust.