When workers leave a job, it’s as likely to be that they feel mistreated as for financial reasons or career advancement.
Thursday, March 21, 2024

Toxic bosses are often one of those reasons. Stephen Courtright, a professor of management and entrepreneurship in the The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, said it’s in an organization’s best interest to purge toxic management to improve its culture and keep good employees.

Courtright said toxic bosses show uncontrollable outbursts of anger and hostility, publicly ridicule employees, and blame employees to save themselves from embarrassment. He says toxicity can be caused by any number of factors, not the least of which is they simply get away with acting like jerks and nothing stops them. He said organizations need to set and enforce clear norms of appropriate supervisory behavior to prevent this. 

Power is also a drug and toxic bosses want to keep their power by intimidating employees with shows of hostility. Organizations need to train their managers that leadership is not a role of power, but stewardship and responsibility. 

Finally, toxic leadership can stem from leaders not taking care of their health. Organizations need to provide work-life balance and make sure leaders are psychologically replenishing themselves by getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and spending time with family and friends.