MSNBC.com contributor Eva Tahmincioglu sees a trend. She writes, “I’ve been hearing lots of hair-raising stories lately about bosses who may have had a tendency to be mean but are now acting like full-blown Darth Vaders. Many workplace experts believe tough economic times and the constant drumbeat to do more with fewer people may be driving managers over to the dark side.” Read Eva’s article about increasingly bad boss behavior in today’s job market.
Another reason for the surge in manager misanthropy: Bad bosses think they can get away with treating employees unfairly because many workers are afraid to leave due to the shaky job market. I’ve seen lots of bad bosses, inappropriate behavior, and abysmal employee satisfaction survey results ignored by the corporate powers-that-be. The attitude seems to be, “What are they going to do, quit?”
Of course, this is a stupid and shortsighted point of view. Mistreated workers grow more bitter and unproductive every day and are likely to bolt at the first opportunity.
Tahmincioglu offers some tips for dealing with mean bosses. She suggests confronting your manager diplomatically or going over a bad boss’ head if the situation gets severe.
In many cases, however, there is little that you can do to reform a toxic boss. Your best bet may be to leave. Remember: There are other jobs out there even if the economic picture isn’t quite as rosy as we’d like it to be.