No. 1 Reason People Quit Their Jobs

More than 1 million employees can't be wrong, so bosses take heed of this. A Gallup poll of more 1 million employed U.S. workers concluded that the No. 1 reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss or immediate supervisor.

"People leave managers not the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue," Gallup wrote in its survey findings. The effect of poor management is widely felt. Gallup also determined that poorly managed work groups are on average 50 percent less productive and 44 percent less profitable than well-managed groups.

When the Web site did its own online survey of 1,118 people, it found that fully half of us working slobs would fire our own bosses if we could. Nearly 30 percent would have their boss seen by a workplace psychologist, but just 23 percent would send their boss for management training.

Bad bosses are bad for business. lists some of the common bad boss behaviors in case you need help identifying them in your own manager:

  • Bullying
  • Incompetence
  • Harassment and discrimination
  • Inadequate compensation
  • Not respecting your legal rights
  • Privacy invasion

Sometimes a boss is just a big bully. And when that happens, it can create fear in the workplace. The New York Times says bully bosses enjoy making subordinates squirm and run for cover. Why do cruel bosses not only survive, but also thrive? "What we're finding," Dr. Calvin Morrill of the University of California at Irvine, told Times reporter Benedict Carey, "is that some of the behaviors that we think most protect us are what in fact allow the behavior to continue. Workers become desensitized, tacitly complicit, and don't always act rationally."

Unlike the playground, bully bosses pick on people their own size and bigger--that is, in terms of power and authority. And while women are more likely to be the target of a bully boss, women bosses are just as likely as men to be the aggressors, notes the Times.

While bullying lets bosses threaten subordinates and rope in scapegoats for their failures, usually it's done just for the fun of being the one in power. They bully because they can.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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