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The worst behaviors of bad bosses, ranked

ranking of bad bosses
Reuters/Larry Downing
The worst bosses have a lot in common.
  • Oliver Staley
By Oliver Staley

Business & culture editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

There are many different ways to be a good boss, but if your goal is to be a bad boss, it’s pretty clear what you have to do.

Taking credit for their underlings’ work is the worst of all bad-boss behaviors, according to a new survey of more than 1,200 full-time US workers, conducted by software company BambooHR. When asked to rank a list of odious managerial tendencies, 63% of respondents said hogging credit was unacceptable, or something they would consider worth quitting over.

Women were particularly offended by bosses wrongly taking credit—71% called it the worst behavior—and the habit seems more noxious the older you are. Workers over 60 were much more likely (77%) to find it offensive than workers under 30 (57%).

Other common behaviors are much more tolerable. More than half say its fine if their bosses don’t socialize with them out of work, and  64% say it’s ok if their bosses don’t friend them on social media.

Here’s BambooHR’s ranking of the 10 worst behaviors:

Bad Boss BehaviorPercentage who call it unacceptable or a deal breaker
Your boss takes credit for your work63%
Your boss doesn’t trust or empower you62
Your boss doesn’t care if you’re overworked58
Your boss doesn’t advocate for you57
Your boss hires and promotes the wrong people56
Your boss doesn’t back you up55
Your boss doesn’t provide proper direction54
Your boss micromanages53
Your boss focuses more on your weaknesses than strengths53
Your boss doesn’t set clear expectations52

Almost 44% of the workers said they had quit a job because of a boss, and the most commonly cited explanations—the respondents could provide up to three reasons—were management style (37%), inappropriate behavior (26%), or harassment of employees (24%).

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