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Utah bosses must be doing something right. Their employees love them.

A recent Deseret News-KSL poll by Dan Jones and Associates showed that 78 percent of the Utah employees polled like and respect their bosses.And 11 percent like their bosses but don't respect them.

More Utahns give their bosses thumbs up than do employees in other states. A national poll of American workers conducted by the Gallup Organization in November judged American bosses for fairness and listening skills.

The Deseret News did the same in its recent poll. The result: Utah bosses are perceived to be more fair and honest and better listeners than their counterparts nationwide.

Such results cast Utah's corporate culture in a favorable light, said Craig Russell, senior polling associate. "Utah has taken some real bashings the last couple of years because of its perceived backward nature," he said. "We are always compared unfavorably to Denver, the L.A. basin or the Phoenix marketplace."

but the results show that many Utah companies have captured what will be a critical commodity in the '90s: employee satisfaction. "The birth dearth has really caused a lack of employable people," Russell said. As the decade progresses, companies across the country will be scrambling for talent.

It's already happening. "We are getting cherry-picked all the time here, and our people are going out of state," said Brent Feulner, the vice president and general manager of STS Productions and KXIV-Channel 14.

Money keeps employees happy. But so does sensitive and fair treatment from a boss. Companies are learning that, Russell said. "That's the major drive behind maternity leave and elderly care benefits. In order to keep employees, bosses must make sure they are as satisfied as the company's customer. Employees are not expendable any more."

Apparently, Utah bosses know how to keep workers happy. "Judging from these numbers, we are ahead of the country," Russell said.

Feulner manages a staff of 85. He knows the value of pleasing employees. "Our people are getting recruited daily by outside companies. We are losing people to outside markets because we have high-quality people here, and employers have discovered that. So it's important to be a good boss. Sometimes money talks, too. But I think a good working environment is just as important in hanging on to your good people."


(Poll) A majority of Utahns say their bosses are fair and sympathetic, but 38 percent of those polled think that if given the opportunity, they could fill their boss's chair a little better.

In your opinion, does your boss treat you fairly and honestly?

Yes, all of the time 52%

Yes, much of the time 36%

Only occasionally 17%

Never 3%

Does your boss listen to you and attempt to incorporate your ideas in the workplace?

Yes, all the time 41%

Yes, much of the time 37%

Only occasionally 17%

Never 5%

In your opinion, if you were given the chance could you do a better job than your boss in his/her job?

Definitely 11%

Probably 27%

Probably not 36%

Definitely not 23%

Sample size: 603; margin of error plus or minus 4%