The number of organizations that tolerate toxic bosses and, in many cases, reward them is almost mind boggling. As an employee retention speaker, I regularly hear from my audience members about bosses that berate them in public, question everything they do, and are just generally rude to them. These are good employees…not slugs that are just taking up space.
Employees are starting to put out their feelers to see if the grass isn’t greener elsewhere as we see continued improvement in the economy. The talent drain this is going to have on organizations will be tremendous. It might also account for some of the lousy customer service we see out there as people simply stop caring and service deteriorates. The thing that I wonder most about is where are the bosses of these toxic bosses? Are they all oblivious to what is going on or do they not care as well? Little do they realize that failing to act is destroying their credibility with the workforce and setting the organization up for disaster. I emphasize to leadership teams when working as an employee retention trainer the importance of your credibility in employee retention.
The impact on the organization is devastating on employee retention as well as on productivity, quality, customer service etc. People are afraid to stick their neck out and take initiative for fear that they will be called on the carpet or, worse yet, potentially lose their job.
I am also seeing a trend that more people simply do not care and are to the point that they figure if they get fired they will be better off than being in the organization. Now that is scary! When people would prefer to be unemployed rather than work for some abusive jerk that they have to see every day you know you have a major employee retention issue. If the economy heats up to the level it was in 2007 prior to the recession, you will see a wholesale exodus of people from those organizations that do not get their act together. At that point…maybe the leadership in those organizations will wake up and deal with their toxic bosses.