Survey: Bad Bosses Still Killing Retention

New research from global staffing firm Robert Half suggests there’s truth to the saying, “People leave managers, not companies.” About half of professionals surveyed (49%) have quit a job due to a bad boss.

According to a new survey from Robert Half, about half of professionals (49%) have quit a job due to a bad boss. Among the 28 U.S. cities in the study, Sacramento (66%), Miami and Tampa (58% each) had the most workers who departed because they didn’t like their supervisor.
According to a new survey from Robert Half, about half of professionals (49%) have quit a job due to a bad boss. Among the 28 U.S. cities in the study, Sacramento (66%), Miami and Tampa (58% each) had the most workers who departed because they didn’t like their supervisor.

“We’ve all heard horror stories about difficult managers — or experienced one firsthand,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Work styles and how well a person gets along with their supervisor can determine whether someone decides to join or remain at a company.”

Paul McDonald

McDonald added, “Many times open communication and training can help to resolve issues and strengthen the professional relationship between bosses and their direct reports. Employers should also commit to regularly gathering feedback on managers and developing the skills of new or potential leaders.”

Additional findings:

  • Minneapolis (36%), Atlanta (39%), Boston and Philadelphia (40% each) have the fewest numbers of employees surveyed who have quit over a bad boss.
  • More professionals ages 18 to 34 (54%) have resigned due to a manager than respondents ages 35 to 54 (49%) and 55 and older (41%).

About the Research
The online survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,800 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in 28 major U.S. cities.


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