Some bad boss statistics

Sep 11 2007 by Derek Torres Print This Article

So, can it be proven just how much a bad boss can affect a working environment? A study from Florida State University and scheduled for publication in Fall of 2007 in Leadership Quarterly has attempted to quantify exactly that.

According to this study 40 per cent of workers in the business world think they work for bad bosses. As for what constitutes a bad boss, they have a variety of answers.

  • 39 per cent said their managers failed to keep promises.
  • 37 per cent said their bosses did not give them the credit they deserved.
  • 31 per cent indicated their supervisor gave them "the silent treatment."
  • 27 per cent reported negative comments from their management.
  • 24 per cent claimed their bosses invaded their privacy.
  • 23 per cent stated that their supervisor blamed them or other workers to cover up personal mistakes.

What does all this mean? It means that companies loose qualified employees due to incompetent and bad management. In short, it means that bad managers cost corporations money.

At the same time, other studies have indicated that bosses who try to create a positive work environment, and who do the opposite of those things listed above, have better workers. In addition, these employees are more than willing to work extra hours or go the extra mile for these supervisors.


Older Comments

Glad to see an actual study, but they did not document the costs. These costs are huge. Losses in productivity alone due to a bad boss are in the area of 50-70% productivity.

Are you a great boss or a bad one?

This is a simple test of 10 questions. Rank yourself (or a manager) on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best or almost always, 1 being the worst or almost never. Add up the points for each question.

If you score close to 100, I would expect that your employees will be over 3 times more productive than if your score was 30 or less. In addition, employees will unleash their full potential creativity and innovation, love to come to work and have very high morale. :)


-provide regular and frequent opportunities for employees to voice complaints, suggestions and questions, provide reasonable and timely responses, and give employees what they say they need to do a better job? (At least weekly?)

-elicit answers/responses from the team and get them to use their brainpower to solve problems?

-listen to employees with 100% attention without distraction, without trying to figure out a response and with the use of follow-up questions to obtain missing details and suggested fixes?

-refrain from giving orders since by their nature they demeaning and disrespectful and destroy innovation and commitment?

-treat members better in terms of humility, respect, timely and high quality responses, forthrightness, trust, admission of error, etc than they are expected to treat customers and each other?

-publicly recognize employees for their contributions and high performance and never take credit him/herself?

-openly provide all company info to employees to the extent they need/desire?

-use values and high standards of them in order to explain why certain actions are better than others?

-use smiles and good humor with subordinates, not frowns or a blank face?

-generate in employees a sense of ownership?

Best regards, Ben Author 'Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed'

Ben Simonton