Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

A Bad Boss

February 19, 2023

by Robert Stevenson

It seems crazy to spend so much money properly training employees only to run them off with a BAD BOSS. A boss has an incredible influence over the employee experience. We’ve all heard the phrase “employees leave bosses, not companies.” Well, it’s true. In fact, 57% of employees leave their jobs because of their boss and 82% leave because of lack of recognition. Those are horrific statistics.

A recent Gallup poll of more than 1 million employed U.S. workers concluded that the number one reason people quit their jobs is a “bad boss” or immediate supervisor. Common “bad boss” behaviors (in case you need a reminder) are bullying, harassment, discrimination, and lack of respect. I would personally describe this type of boss as a jerk. I don’t like jerks, I don’t want to be around jerks and I certainly don’t want to work for one. So, if I am working for a jerk, my resume will be out there and I will soon be gone. Life is too short to be living with stress, hate, fear, frustration, and never appreciated.

Other reasons for employees leaving a company are, Micromanagement (that’s a bad boss), Constantly switching goals (that’s a bad boss), Lack of Recognition (that’s a bad boss) and then there are No chance of advancement and Poor Pay. All of these are fixable.

I want to be known as the best paying company in my industry ... so all the top talent will want to work for my company. I want to reduce my training budget by retaining my employees rather than have to train new ones so I will eliminate micromanagement and create a culture where employees have a hand in decisions and policies. AND … everyone will be recognized for contributions and understand their track for advancement. Last, but certainly not least … I will be fair. This is one hell-of-a-paragraph. Can you say all of these things about your management style and company? If the answer is, “No,” then you’ve got some work to do.

Let’s take a closer look at fairness. Are you demonstrating through “your actions” the importance of "fairness" in your corporate culture. When you treat employees fairly four things happen:

  1. Your employees will notice and respect you for it.
  2. They will be learning to treat others fairly.
  3. It increases their willingness to give their best effort.
  4. Employee retention will rise considerably.

We don’t need to confuse toughness and fairness. A great boss is there to get the most out of employees and show them they are capable of more than they think is possible. I have no problem with that. I’ll take a tough but fair boss, any day! To me a great boss should be thought of as a person of character, integrity, fairness and who taught me how to better myself. Always remember this: Fairness can never be negotiated … it’s either fair or it isn’t.

If you don’t know what your employee turnover ratio is and how it compares with your industry standards, you should. If the ratio is higher than industry standards … then you have a serious problem. Your most valuable asset (employees) is walking out the door and the sad thing about that is, in the majority of cases, it was caused by BAD management.

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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