• Almost half of workers have left a job because of a bad boss, survey finds

  • 25 Aug 2015
  • Comments 5 comments

And nearly a third don’t rate the skills of their current manager

They say ‘people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers’, and a survey by B2B marketplace Approved Index may have proved that once and for all, discovering that nearly half (42 per cent) of employees have left a job because of a bad boss.

In its survey of 1,374 employees, almost a third (30 per cent) feel their current boss is a bad manager and 44 per cent said they disliked their boss more than controversial PM cover girl Katie Hopkins.

Recruitment was ranked as the worst industry for terrible managers with all respondents from that profession reporting that they had left a job because of a poor relationship with a manager. Other sectors which scored poorly in the survey include travel and tourism (77 per cent of respondents had left a job because of a poor manager), marketing and PR (63 per cent) and accounting (61 per cent). 

Other industries featuring in the top ten for worst bosses were events, entertainment, fashion, agriculture and food, architecture and security.

On the other hand, only one in five respondents working in research and less than a third (30 per cent) of those working in engineering had been driven out of a role by their manager.

And interestingly, people working in HR ranked their bosses ‘most trustworthy’, with 94 per cent saying they trusted their manager. Those working in real estate trusted their boss the least, with 50 per cent reporting this.

When asked why they disliked their managers, 41 per cent cited a lack of recognition, while 40 per cent said they felt overworked.

It’s not that employees don’t want to get along with their boss either. Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) said getting along with their boss helped boost their motivation and a third said a good relationship with their boss was even more important than job satisfaction. 

Unfortunately for those poor employees who lack a good relationship with their line manager or section head, bosses are unlikely to improve anytime soon. A 2014 report by the CIPD discovered that the quality of managers had not improved over the last decade.

Meanwhile, the April 2015 issue of People Management magazine unveiled some of bosses more shocking antics, including telling an employee with cancer to use annual leave rather than sick leave and headbutting a worker “because he was annoying”.

Tribly Rajna, editor of the Approved Index, said: “The relationship between bosses and their employees is an interesting concept and it’s really important to have a good working environment. It’s something that we really pride ourselves on something here so we just wanted to see how people are feeling in their jobs with their relationships with their boss.”

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  • It isn’t necessarily that they are bad people, it’s just that their management styles and skills are simply lacking in some way, and most likely they are unaware of how they are perceived by their people.

    Like them or not, you DO need to get on with your boss!

    I think it's worth pointing out there are many different 'types' of boss. For example, if there is a 'power-hungry' boss, employees can look at taking the following actions in response to him or her:-

    - Do what is asked of you, but also, do what YOU think is right

    - Don’t comply with outrageous requests just because the boss says so. Report unethical behaviour to the appropriate parties.

    - Be assertive, not aggressive. While it may be easy to get defensive when dealing with a boss on a power trip, avoid this temptation.

    And if there is an 'invisible boss' who is perceived as being aloof, uninterested or too busy, employees can consider the following approach to them:-

    - Explain to your boss the difficulties you are experiencing because they’re rarely there. They might not even be aware of the problems they are causing!

    - Ask them to agree to be available for a certain amount of time, either face to face or on the telephone.

    - To make the best of the time you do have with them, ensure you are well organised.

    - Put requests in writing and give as much warning as possible as to when you need a response by.

    I think it helps to know how the different types of managers can best be handled so that members of staff can enjoy their work environment and avoid having to leave a position they might otherwise really enjoy.

  • For managers to be seen as 'good' they need to focus on getting critical conversations with their staff right. Good communication increases a managers understanding of the people around them and can improve happiness and feelings of personal satisfaction.

    Managers can usually only succeed through their people and they will only get the best out of their people if they have better conversations with them. So rather than focus on complex competencies, we could have far greater impact if we helped our managers understand that it is vital for them to not only get results in the short term but also maintain relationships with their staff for the future.

    I am convinced that a greater focus on the quality of our conversations would stop so many people leaving their jobs because of poor management.

  • A piece of research has shown that high income industries will tolerate a high performing individual behaving badly, bullying, not managing staff properly, being rude to co-workers because they bring in the money. I have also seen this in action. Low grade workers will come and go and the poorly behaved money maker will remain. They are given the training to tick boxes, as long as the results keep coming they are tolerated.

    Managers have to accept that they don't just manage output, but the people who generate the output, it is a rounded package. Training only gives them the key skills and knowledge, the person then has to apply this knowledge and the refrain that keeps coming is, i'm too busy doing my job. Well actually, managing your staff properly is also your job.

    It is not poor recruitment per se, it is poor applicants, who want the money for being a manager, but don't take on the people management that comes with it.

  • I have written many articles and blogs about the impact of poor management. Here's my issue - somebody has got rich while management quality has failed to improve. The recruiters, who are so awful at management; have profited by recruiting many managers, but how many of them have been any good? We have lost MILLIONS because of bad hires, aided by inept recruiters.

    We continue to spent many MILLIONS on management development, yet manager quality declines further. Well paid leaders, abetted by HR, have almost no idea of what 'good' looks like when it comes to management, and that is what we need to urgently address. Well rewarded training companies are taking the money, but are they giving any value whatsoever? Not much, if the research is true...

  • This supports research carried out by the Smith Institute - making work better. If the government supported the Dignity at Work Bill, outlawing bulling as in other countries, this would improve matters. This would also improve economic efficiency by increasing productivity and economic growth