- The old adage appears to hold true: More than half of workers (57%) in a recent survey said they've quit a job because of a bad boss. And among the respondents who stayed, a third said they seriously considered leaving, data from DDI's Frontline Leader Project revealed Dec. 9.
- In the other key findings, DDI found that the move to leadership is often unexpected, and that some who are promoted to management sometimes regret accepting the promotion.
- "How leaders manage their emotions and how they make other people feel are the strongest drivers of talent retention," said Stephanie Neal, director of DDI's Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research. "This leadership study gives an inside glimpse into the emotions surrounding frontline leaders to help organizations pinpoint the crucial gaps where people need more support."
An October Robert Half survey highlighted similar results: 49% of employees responding to that poll said they had quit a job to get away from a toxic manager. Young professionals, in particular, said they were likely to leave because of a bad-behaving boss.
The shortcomings that render a boss undesirable run the gamut. Some employees say they dislike when managers are overwhelmed, unfair, poor listeners, impersonal or disorganized; others become frustrated when bosses don't solicit feedback and withhold responsibility.
Instead, workers say they want a boss who can solve problems, manages time effectively and is decisive, empathetic and compassionate. Importantly, research suggests that HR can train managers to exhibit these qualities — and that leaders are interested in such development opportunities.