Employees Un-like Facebook Relationships With the Boss

More prefer a fling to adding a boss on Facebook or Linkedin.

Oct. 14, 2010— -- Using sex to get ahead is more likely than connecting to a boss on the business networking website Linkedin, according to a poll by an employment agency.

Adecco Staffing U.S. commissioned a survey of 1,000 American workers, and reports that 6 percent of them say they have connected to their bosses on Linkedin -- compared to the 9 percent who would consider an office fling to advance their careers.

"That's probably in violation of every sophisticated company's human resources policy," says Jay Weiss, vice president of the consulting firm JGI. "It's a disappointing result that more people think that is the way to get ahead than legit means."

To get a pay raise, "Demonstrate and know your value to the company," says Weiss, "and be sensitive to the company's ability to pay you."

However, 9 percent "completely agreed" and 7 percent "somewhat agreed" with a question asking whether they would consider having a fling to get ahead at the job – 3 percent more than the number who said they friended the boss on Facebook. Even in the digital age, linking online with a boss is uncommon. Eighty-two percent have not connected to their bosses on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Foursquare.

When it comes to advances made via social media, women felt more pressure than men to accept links to their bosses after a request was sent. If the boss asked to befriend an employee online, 34 percent of women vs. 24 percent of men felt pressure to accept the invitation. More women than men adjusted their online privacy settings.

The survey, timed for National Boss Day, found most employees thought their bosses were lacking when it came to vision. Tied with a democratic leadership style, a visionary was the preferred coaching style of those that participated in the study. Bosses came up short by 8 percent as visionary.

But you couldn't pay employees to take on the boss's role. Only one in three employees would like to take on the boss's job. Thirty-seven percent of those polled said Oprah Winfrey would make an ideal boss. Thirty-five percent named President Obama.

Donald Trump, the "Apprentice" host, fell in at number three. The rest of the top ten included Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Martha Stewart, GE's Jack Welch, baseball's Joe Torre and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

Would You 'Friend' Your Boss on Facebook?

Torre and Zuckerberg tied with 9 percent of the votes – 5 percentage points ahead of BP's former chief, Tony Hayward.

"I would not advise an office fling," says David Kimmelman, a vice president at marketing company Avenue100 Media Solutions. "Consider how it could negatively impact you: If it ends badly you're done. If it's all consensual, then you don't have a prayer in the world if you get terminated and you seek council to sue an employer."

There should be less worry on Linkedin because the website is a career-oriented social network. Unless the information posted in an online resume is falsified or if status updates are inappropriate, "There's not a lot of likelihood you're going to put something controversial on Linkedin," says Kimmelman. "I highly recommend people add their boss on Linkedin because you want to be networked with people you work with. Things can get a little dicier if you're going to be a friend with your boss on Facebook, but it all depends on the type of relationship you have with your boss."

For some employers, Kimmelman says, Linkedin may be a way to extend their brand.

"I encourage everyone in the organization to be linked with everybody," says Kimmelman. "I want all of our people linking to us because that just expands our network."