Which industries have the worst bosses?

And how should you cope with yours?

Updated: 
imposing man in business attire ...

A good boss can make all the difference to a humdrum job. But a bad one can make life a misery; and according to new research, there's an awful lot of them about.

A survey from business-to-business marketplace Approved Index has revealed that almost a third of employees think their current boss is a bad manager and 42% have gone so far as to quit their job because of a horrible boss.

An astonishing 44% even said they liked their boss less than Katie Hopkins.

"These results are concerning. With the developments in technology, it has become difficult for employees to disconnect from work when they leave the office," says Trilby Rajna of Approved Index.

"If on top of that, their working environment is sullied by a horrible boss, that's a huge part of their day spent feeling miserable and stressed."

Interestingly, though, there's huge variation between one industry and another when it comes to having pleasant people at the top. While only one in five people who worked in research said they'd been driven to quit by a horrible boss, an astonishing 100% of recruitment staff said the same.

Other industries with nasty managers included travel and tourism, with more than three-quarters of workers prompted to quit at one time or another, followed by marketing and PR at 63% and accounting at 61%.

Meanwhile, only three in ten people working in engineering or graphic design say they have walked out of a job because of a bad manager.

So what makes for a good boss?

You might think that Dan Price had it covered when he announced earlier this year that he planned to raise the salary of all his staff to a minimum of $70,000 a year. He funded the pay rise, in part, by cutting his own $1 million salary to the same amount.

But the move didn't make him as popular with the staff as you might think. Two weeks later, two of his best workers quit, annoyed that less-dedicated staff were getting the same. Some of the least-skilled workers saw their salaries double, while better-qualified people saw barely any difference.

And this resentment reflects the top problem with a bad boss: under-appreciation, cited by 41% of respondents to the Approved Index survey.

Next came being overworked, cited by 40%, and favouritism being shown to other team members, a problem for 34.6%. Other characteristics of horrible bosses include making empty promises, giving unfair pay and focusing on people's mistakes rather than their successes.

Horrible bosses also fail to understand that their staff have a life outside work, take credit for things other workers have done, dismiss ideas and micromanage their staff.

But what should you do if you have a horrible boss?

Well, you can quit, of course; but, surprisingly, if you want to stay the answer appears to be to retaliate. A study earlier this year from Ohio State University found that staff who fight back against a horrible boss end up with less distress, more job satisfaction - and even with more commitment to their employer.

Techniques for getting their own back included ignoring the boss, acting as if they didn't know what their boss was talking about and giving just half-hearted effort - passive-aggressiveness, basically.

"If your boss is hostile, there appears to be benefits to reciprocating," says lead author Bennett Tepper, professor of management and human resources at the university's Fisher College of Business.

"Employees felt better about themselves because they didn't just sit back and take the abuse."

The ten industries with the worst bosses
(% of people who have quit because of a bad boss)
1. Recruitment: 100%
2. Travel and tourism: 77%
3. Marketing and PR: 63%
4. Accounting: 61%
5. Events: 56%
6. Entertainment: 55%
7. Fashion: 54%
8. Agriculture and food: 53%
9. Architecture: 50%
10. Security: 50%

The ten industries with the best bosses
1. Research: 20%
2. Engineering: 30%
3. Graphic arts and design: 31%
4. Automotive: 33%
5. Medical and healthcare: 33%
6. Manufacturing: 34%
7. Non-profit and volunteering: 34%
8. Retail: 35%
9. Insurance: 35%
10: Education: 35%

How to Handle a Bad Boss


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