Survey: What Boss Behavior Annoys Employees the Most?

A new report from the software firm BambooHR found that many employees leave their job because of frustrations with their boss. What drives those frustrations? Here's a quick primer.

If you’re the boss, it’s good to keep your employees happy with you, right?

Well, if you want to do so, make sure you’re not swiping the credit for their hard work.

The Bad Boss Index, a recent survey by the human resources software firm BambooHR, notes that of the most frustrating behaviors of bosses, the worst of the worst is when bosses take credit for their employees’ efforts, something that 57 percent of employees ages 18 to 29 say is a problem.

“It’s more than just infuriating; not receiving recognition for your work can directly impact your career,” the company stated in a blog post. “It’s no wonder that this bad boss behavior tops the list as most aggravating for employees.”

That frustration and others could be a major factor for why employees ultimately leave their companies. The report noted that 44 percent of respondents claimed to have left a job specifically because of a boss, with his or her behavior the main factor 26 percent of the time.

One big differentiator in terms of how employees feel about a slight from their boss is whether the employees are managers. Seventy-five percent of nonmanagers are annoyed when a boss takes credit for their work, while just 52 percent of managers felt the same way.

Additionally, female employees were more likely to experience bad boss behavior, such as a lack of empowerment. The report found that 31 percent of female employees blamed “inappropriate behavior” by their bosses, such as not caring that they were overworked, for their departures, versus 20 percent of men.

And should your boss be your pal? As it turns out, male employees tend to see friendship outside the office—whether through social media or through hangout sessions—as more important than female employees do.

In a blog post highlighting the study, BambooHR’s Kelsie Davis noted that the findings should be fodder for leadership change.

“Employees deserve to be treated with respect, cared for, and led by bosses who treat them fairly,” Davis explained. “What’s more, ignoring bad behavior could lead to some serious consequences, including unsatisfied employees, high turnover, and possibly even legal issues.”

Are you a Lumbergh in your employees' eyes? (20th Century Fox)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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