Survey: 1 In 5 Workers Has A Bad Boss
What are employees complaining about? Not surprisingly, the most common gripe that workers have with bosses is that they are "stopping or slowing" a pay raise (40 percent).
But workers who have bad bosses also complained that their managers :
- Reduce or eliminate work-life balance (27 percent).
- Discourage collaborative team work (26 percent).
- Stop or slow next promotion (25 percent).
Any good bosses? Slightly more than half of the workers in the survey (52 percent) feel their bosses are having a positive impact on their careers. Interestingly, more men than women held that view (58 percent versus 47 percent). That could be a reflection of the fact that top management in corporate America still tends to be male-dominated, and the men in charge may take better care of their own through the "old boys' club." Indeed, research shows that when management is male-dominated, female employees find it harder to advance.
Bosses make unreasonable demands. Recently, a CareerBuilder survey found that nearly 1 in 4 workers complained that their bosses made unreasonable, even outrageous requests. In that survey, which was released last month, workers cataloged a long list, including being asked to act as a "surrogate mother" for a boss's child. (Careerbuilder is an AOL Jobs partner.)
So how should workers deal with a bad boss? AOL Jobs career expert Miriam Salpeter offered the following:
1. Consider the source. If you feel you're always on the receiving end of your boss's nastiness, keep in mind just how consistent the behavior is. As Salpeter notes, if your boss is "consistently critical and never credits you with positive accomplishments, recognize that it probably has nothing to do with you." That knowledge should allow you to take away whatever's constructive from the feedback.
2. Communicate. As tempting as it may be to try and cut off dialogue with a bad boss, avoid the urge. Where will that get you when you still have to work together? And to protect yourself, make sure you ask "specific questions," which should help limit the contact to the task at hand.
3. Don't allow yourself to be a victim of a bully. In the event that your boss is actually abusive, it's obviously important to document instances of the aggressive behavior. But the question is: What do you do when you've got the goods? Make sure "you've done your due diligence," Salpeter emphasizes, "because if your boss is generally well respected ... you probably aren't going to win any points by reporting the situation." And in the event that your boss has obvious backing, you should either "grin and bear it" or simply find a new job.
What do you think? Is your boss an obstacle to your success? Share your comments below.
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Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.
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