Do you think you’re a good boss or a bad boss? Well in the words of W. Edwards Deming, “Without data you’re just a person with an opinion.”
The Bad Boss Index, a recent study by BambooHR, provides some real, quantifiable insight to what employees think of their bosses. Below are five takeaways that should cause all bosses to do some serious self-reflection.
The #1 Worst Boss Behavior
There was a clear winner here—bosses taking credit for their employee’s work. Out of the surveyed employees, 63% found this action completely unacceptable. Bosses should note that older employees are even less tolerant for this recognition siphoning behavior, 77% of employee’s age 60+ deemed this unacceptable.
The Takeaway: To the all-powerful rulers of the office, if you want to retain your loyal subjects, give credit where credit is due.
Always Remember You Are Unique, Just Like Everyone Else
Bosses already have so much to do in a work day and making certain that their employees feel motivated doesn’t always make the list.
However, based on the data, it should be a top priority because 62% of employees said it was unacceptable for their bosses not to show trust and empowerment towards them. This statistic is right in line with a boss taking credit for their employee’s work—employees need daily motivation and recognition and without it, they starve. Managers need to know that 44% of respondents said that their boss was the primary reason for them leaving their job and 37% blamed it on their boss’s management style. For employees, business is personal.
Takeaway: Take the time to find ways to show your employees that you feel they’re doing a good job and that you trust them. Your business will benefit from it because the numbers don’t lie.
Men and Women Do Not Judge Bosses Equally
Of the 24 boss behaviors listed, women rated 19 of them more unacceptable than their male coworkers. The five biggest gaps showed nearly a 20% difference between men and women. So, in general, it seems that bosses should tread a little more lightly around their female employees. However, the study points out another notable difference that 31% of women reported leaving their job because of “inappropriate” behavior and only 20% of men reported the same.
Takeaway: A straight answer is tougher with this subject. So what we will say is this: pay close attention to your employee’s emotions because they all will perceive behaviors very differently.
Bosses Are Blinded by The Light
The BambooHR survey also questioned managers and non-managers.
The amusing result here is that managers don’t seem to share the same sentiments of their employees. For example, 20% fewer managers viewed the top unacceptable behaviors (taking credit and not empowering employees) as unacceptable. Maybe it’s because some bosses have lost empathy for the subordinates they once were or more likely they just have bigger things occupying their mind. Either way, the data suggest that, as employees, we can expect our managers to be a little less empathetic.
Takeaway: It’s probably too late for most bosses/managers to change, but there’s still hope for all the aspiring leaders out there. So, future leaders, don’t forget where you came from!
Bosses, we’re going to get off your back a little. Here’s the data on the bad behaviors that employees say are not that bad. Most respondents (64%) said that it’s fine if a boss refused to accept their employees on social media. Also, 54% of employees don’t care to see or spend time with their bosses outside of the workplace. However, interestly, both behaviors are more important to male employees.
Takeaway: Bosses are free from social media obligations. Bosses don’t need to follow each employee’s Instagram and “like” each picture.
There is a lot more to the BambooHR Bad Boss Index and self-conscious employers can peruse it as much as they want, but these takeaways seemed to hit the hardest. Together, we can eventually all free the world from bad bosses!
Bio: Annabelle Smyth is a freelance writer who covers everything from HR to technology and leadership skills. Her most recent work involves partnership marketing with BambooHR where she has had the opportunity to learn about employee engagement and a successful business.10-year-review-survey summary