Two in Five Work for Bad Managers :  Published January 2007 All Rights Reserved


Gotta Bad Manager? Two in Five Qualify Study Finds

"Manager wanted: Do you lie to employees and break promises? Do you abuse employees, take them for granted, and make sexual advances? Well then, you are the perfect fit to work at our corporate headquarters...."  The advertisement might sound like a job at IBM, but in all seriousness two in five managers in the United States fit the bill according to Florida State University.

Bad managers lead the reasons for employees to seek employment elsewhere,  poor management is also to blame for low productivity and company morale.

Employees don't leave the business - they leave their boss said Wayne Hochwarter at the College of Business at Florida State University. Hochwarter along with two doctoral students surveyed some 700 professional men and women for the study.

Those workers who stay with an abusive manager experience physical and mental exhaustion, high levels of tension, nervous disorders, depression, and mistrust others.

Employees were less likely to excel in their job, and did not care about customer satisfaction.

In the face of logic one could question why employers would keep an abusive manager -- but according to one human relations professional who spoke on the condition of anonymity -- it is the bottom line sometimes. "Not all managers are dysfunctional, but yes in some cases we know which manager to place in a role where we want employees to leave," the professional from IBM in Somers, NY, told Think & Ask.

One observation the spokesperson said was that in the past six years more inexperienced managers have been hired at IBM to reduce costs too. "That lack of experience can cause frustration with older employees."

Of the study's findings, all of which will be released in full by year-end 2007, authors found 39 percent of managers failed to keep promises, 37 percent failed to praise employees when credit was due, 31 percent of managers used silent treatment, 27 percent used negative comments about employees in front of others, 24 percent of managers invaded the privacy of employees, and 23 percent blamed others for his/her mistakes.

Researcher Hochwarter said that employees must remain positive during these challenges, because ultimately the track record follows the employee not the manager. He added that employees should report illegal activity when threats or sexual misconduct is evident from the manager.

"Hiding can be detrimental to your career, especially when it keeps others in the company from noticing your talent and contributions," Hochwarter said.

The IBM spokesperson added that the company does dismiss managers for overtly abusive behavior and encourages employees to come forward when a manager treats an employee unfairly. "We have measures in place to solve these problems before they get out of hand," the spokesperson said.


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