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The 10 Worst Bad Boss Behaviors

The 10 Worst Bad Boss Behaviors
Credit: Gonzalo Aragon/Shutterstock

Few things play as important a role in your success at work than your boss.

While working for someone you like and respect can make you more committed to your employer, working for someone you dislike and don't respect can have you heading for the door. A new study from BambooHR revealed that 44 percent of professionals have quit their job primarily because of their boss.

"When you have a boss you respect and admire, you are more likely to produce great work and enjoy your job," the study's authors wrote. "But when you have a bad boss, you're much more likely to be upset, unengaged and ready to leave."

Nothing makes employees sour on their boss more than working for someone who steals credit for their work. The study found that 63 percent of the employees surveyed said working for someone who takes credit for their work is something they consider a deal breaker, or at the very least unacceptable. [Want to be a better boss? Here are three ways to make it happen]

Of those who have left a job because of their boss, nearly 20 percent said they quit because the person they worked for was taking credit for their work.

"No one wants a work environment in which employees are considering or compelled to leave because of a manager's poor leadership skills," the study's authors wrote. "Employees want to receive recognition for their hard work and want to feel empowered, inspired, and cared for."

The research found that the top 10 bad boss behaviors are:

  1. Your boss takes credit for your work
  2. Your boss doesn't appear to trust or empower you
  3. Your boss doesn't seem to care if you're overworked
  4. Your boss doesn't advocate for you when it comes to monetary compensation (wages/salary/ bonuses)
  5. Your boss hires and/or promotes the wrong people
  6. Your boss doesn't back you up when there's a dispute between you and one of your company's clients
  7. Your boss doesn't provide proper direction on assignments/roles
  8. Your boss micromanages you and doesn't allow you the "freedom to work"
  9. Your boss focuses more on your weaknesses than your strengths
  10. Your boss doesn't set clear expectations

"Above all, employees want a boss who trusts them, cares for them as people, respects their work/life balance, and appreciates and acknowledges their hard work and good ideas," the study's authors wrote.

The research revealed that besides their actions, certain traits also leave employees looking elsewhere for employment. Of those who have left a job because of their manager, the top five characteristics of their boss that made them leave were:

  1. Management style
  2. Condescending attitude
  3. Mean or had a bad temper
  4. Inappropriate behavior
  5. Harassed employees

"These results highlight an opportunity for bosses and employers to hone in on the leadership aspects that irk employees the most and make the necessary steps to retain their best talent and foster a strong company culture," the study's authors wrote. "By developing a culture that promotes positive leadership behaviors at the top, organizations will reap the benefits of a healthier, happier workforce."

While they still consider them "bad," a few behaviors by bosses don't get under the skin of employees nearly as much. Specifically, the research shows that bosses who refuse to "friend" them on social media channels or who don't like to spend time with employees outside of work are the most acceptable bad behaviors.

The study was based on surveys of 1,029 U.S. employees.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.