Could a terrible boss be damaging to your health?

Could a terrible boss be as damaging for your health as passive smoking? Yes, according to a recent BBC article entitled “An awful boss could be as bad for your health as cigarettes”, this could be the case. Research carried out at Harvard Business School and Stanford University in the U.S. found that work stress can have the same negative health effects as passive smoking. Another article posted on the Washington Post also states that Research has linked having a lousy boss to an increased risk of heart attack.

The American Psychological Association reports that the biggest source of employee’s work-related stress is caused by their boss, with 60% of U.S. workers choosing a new boss over a pay rise. While 41% of employees working for a bad boss quit to move on to another job, a staggering 59% actually stay on. Reasons for this range from company loyalty to the “comfortable couch” syndrome, wherein people find it overwhelming to put in the effort to find a new job. This is not only damaging to the employee’s well-being but also to the Company, as these employees are demotivated, feel less committed to the Company and therefore usually deliver sub-standard performance.

Although in many instances, the circumstances to having a bad Manager are simply a clash in personalities between a Manager and an employee, there are instances where Managers truly exhibit behaviours that cause stress and which demoralise their teams.

Often Managers adopt these behaviours unintentionally or unconsciously. Sometimes Managers display anger with those who sit below them in the organisational hierarchy rather than with those who rank above them. At other times, it is a lack of leadership skills, while at times it is plainly aggressive traits of the Manager. It is therefore important for companies to look out for signs of any Manager that might be damaging the Company’s performance. As the famous quote goes “People leave Managers and not Companies”.

So what makes a horrible Manager or boss? Have a look at the infographic below.


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