Nearly one-half of U.S. employees have worked for unreasonable managers

Many quit their jobs as result of poor treatment: Survey
||Last Updated: 07/14/2011

It's no wonder bad bosses often make it to the big screen: many workers can relate. Nearly one-half (46 per cent) of employees in the United States said they have worked for an unreasonable manager, according to a survey by OfficeTeam. Among those who have been beleaguered by challenging supervisors, most stayed in their jobs and either tried to address the situation (35 per cent) or resolved to live with it (27 per cent).

Twenty-seven per cent quit their jobs once they had another one lined up and 11 per cent quit immediately, according to the survey of 441 workers in the U.S.

"Bad bosses aren't necessarily bad people, but they certainly can make work challenging for those who report to them," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Often, individuals are promoted because they excel in a given job, but that doesn't mean they have the skills to be effective leaders."

Friction between supervisors and employees can stem from differing work styles, he said.

According to OfficeTeam, there are many ways HR can help employees cope with difficult bosses:

The micromanager: This boss has trouble delegating tasks and constantly looks over the employees shoulder. Encourage employees to build trust with the manager by making deadlines, paying attention to details, keeping the manager in the loop with the steps taken.

The poor communicator: This manager provides little or no direction and assigns tasks at the last minute. Encourage employees to ask for more information at the outset of the project and arrange regular check-ins.

The bully: This manager wants to do things his way and is easily frustrated. Encourage employees to stand up for themselves and calmly back-up their ideas.

The saboteur: This manager undermines the efforts of others and rarely recognizes individuals. Encourage employees to make sure their contributions are visible to others, especially senior management.

The mixed bag: This manager’s moods are unpredictable and change easily. Encourage employees to not take this managers’ disposition personally and to stay calm and composed when dealing with her.

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