How 'Bad Bosses' Drive Employees Mad [Infographic]

bad bosses employee happinessThe most productive workers are often thought of as those who love their work. But even the best of workers can be hampered by poor leadership.

Further evidence of that is contained in new research which shows that leaders who lack empathy demonstrate poor leadership skills, and a significant number of them are ineffective as managers. Moreover, a report released this week by talent-management company DDI shows that many managers frequently fail to ask workers for their ideas and input, are poor communicators and don't provide sufficient feedback on employee performance.

The survey, which polled nearly 1,300 workers in the U.S. and U.K., Australia, Canada, China, India, Germany and three countries in Southeast Asia, found that many would rather endure a bad hangover, do housework or view credit-card bills rather than sit through a job-performance review with their boss.

Results also showed that a majority -- 60 percent -- reported that their bosses sometimes, most of the time or always damage employees' self-esteem. A majority also said they don't now work for the best boss they've had. And of those, nearly 80 percent of respondents said they could boost their output by as much as 60 percent if only they worked for their "best-ever" boss.

In other words, DDI says, if every two to three people were managed by their "best-ever" leaders, there would be a productivity gain equal to another person.

The study also showed a staggering difference in the motivation among employees who work for best or worst managers, based on respondents' perceptions. Of those who reported working for a good boss, 98 percent said they felt motivated to give their best, compared to just 11 percent for employees who worked for a bad boss.

Similarly, 94 percent of those with good bosses said their managers did a good job helping them be more productive, while only 5 percent of those with bad bosses said the same.

"Leaders remain stubbornly poor at these fundamental basics of good leadership that have little to do with the current challenging business climate," says Simon Mitchell, DDI director and co-author of the report.

"It's important that organizations equip the people managing their workforce with these basic leadership essentials, and that managers are aware of their own blind spots in these areas," says Mitchell, in a statement accompanying the report's findings.

The good news, he says, is that bad managers can improve their management skills through training.

Among other findings in DDI's report, "Lessons for Leaders from the People Who Matter," researchers found:

  • More than a third (35 percent) of respondents say their bosses only listen to their workplace concerns sometimes or never.
  • A third (34 percent) of bosses single out certain employees as "favorites" either most of the time or always.
  • Only half (51 percent) say their manager asks for their help in solving problems most of the time or always, and 45 percent say their boss "only sometimes or never" gives sufficient feedback on their performance.
  • Unsurprisingly, two out of every five (39 percent) respondents say they have left a job primarily because of their manager or leaders, and 55 percent say they have considered leaving a job because of their leader.

For more about "bad bosses" and how they fall down on the job, check out this infographic from theFIT, a website that provides job seekers with inside information about potential employers.



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Yolie Michelle

Mr. Schepps, shared your article with managers and co-workers via office email and although I received favorable comments I was summoned by the Human Resources Director and my boss to inform me that although they had not read the article the title caused them concerns and since we didn't have a policy for sharing emails with "everyone" I should probably present such awareness and helpful articles at the managers meeting or run it past HR. Done, I thought. The next day the VP of Compliance/HR sent an "everyone" email stating the hospital fosters a friendly and positive atmosphere and all information or postings should go through HR. However, my name/ personal email was noted on the subject line and cc: to all VPs as if your article was contrary to that mission. I then apologized via "everyone" email but stated I stood by the article as being both positive and having awareness as well as it piggy-backed our manager service training. So, after 17 years of service I was terminated with severence(optional) if I signed an agreement. Employees in shock that it was due to this article. Talking about fostering a positve and friendly atmosphere? Although I am not a union member they have asked to come forward to assist. Any ideas as to how to fight this.

March 11 2012 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Roommate

Wow, this article describes my boss almost to a "T". Throw in micromanaging and negative and you've got a bullseye. Why is it that so many managers feel the need to micromanage grown adults who are fully competent? They should realize that it kills morale, and makes their staff resentful and inefficient.

February 20 2012 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

The author hit it on the nose. There's a plethora of bad bosses, and especially in the corporate world. I had one at my prior company who at one time I got along with swimmingly. Back in 1998 something happened, and it might have been family oriented, but she changed as a result.

It was hell working with her for the next 8 years until I finally quit. She knew the business very well, but she became a lousy manager. Perhaps she was getting pressure from her boss and passing it down. That's what oftentimes happens. In 2005 I actually got a stroke of luck, and was reassigned to another area under a different boss who was a dream. Great support. Then a stupid reorganizational change brought me back to the toxic boss in 2006 on April 1st no less, and that was that.

February 20 2012 at 3:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
riojoanz

In competitive markets like big urban cities where higher salaries are needed for employees to pay rent and maintain a certain lifestyle, the least qualified people advance to supervisory positions. Women sleep their way to the top, mediocre men/women are promoted merely for skin color and belonging to a particular ethnic group if a clique of the same peope are in upper management. Outspoken people often get overlooked for promotions because they will upset the status quo. The list goes on. Hard working people can only continue to perform and hope they can walk away from these miserable jobs with a decent pension.

February 20 2012 at 2:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
dghrtymrd06

Sadly there are a growing number that can only make themselfs look good by making others look bad.

February 20 2012 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
topdadnow

I had a boss who called me stupid right to my face. Yet he hadn't given all the information on what I was suppose to do.

February 20 2012 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
j06walk

I worked for a subsiderary of the largest construction company in Ohio and the founders grandaughter ran it it was so bad that everytime she came out on the floor it was who is getting fired now. Well she moved back to corprate and her cousion started running it and it is no better the comment i have X amount of apps in my office is throwen out there all of the time.They have lost so many good workers that I will not go were there welded product has been used for fear of

February 20 2012 at 1:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
krbowersk

No way, will I work for a boss who constantly is badgering and terrorizing his staff. No job worth the risk of a heart attack, depression and/or anxiety. Most of these bosses are inept and shouldn't be bosses anyway. However, I'm in a postion that if the boss is abusive, inept and a major pain i'm out of there. As bad as the economy is and jobs are hard to find it's still not worth putting up with an arrogant and abusive moron boss. Just saying!

February 20 2012 at 1:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
krbowersk

No way, will I work for a boss who constantly is badgering and terrorizing his staff. No job worth the risk of a heart attack, depression and/or anxiety. Most of these bosses are inept and shouldn't be bosses anyway. However, I'm in a postion that if the boss is abusive, inept and a major pain i'm out of there. As bad as the economy is and jobs are hard to find it's still not worth putting up with an arrogant and abusive moron boss. Just saying!

February 20 2012 at 1:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Becky Mangan

I love my boss!!! He rocks. He owns a small business and is a 1%er that wears raggedy shorts and T-shirts. I hate CA and have thought of leaving many times, but I know I'll never have a job and a boss like I have now, ever again, so I stay.

February 20 2012 at 1:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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