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Psychopath Bosses Are Costing Us Money

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Is your supervisor crazy? Does fear at the office happen more often than just at Halloween? Today’s guest post by Cassie Dull reviews the signs that your boss might be vindictive and evil.

So you’ve seen several warning signs that your boss might be a psychopath. And that very convincing Jason costume on Halloween didn’t help things. I came across an infographic from LearnStuff.com last month detailing signs that your boss is a psychopath, and more interestingly, stats on what it’s costing the workforce.

Some signs that your boss is among the infamous:

  1. Lacks empathy and remorse
  2. Plays games and manipulates people
  3. Never lets anyone get too close
  4. You think he or she should see a psychologist

Here’s the image from LearnStuff (more thoughts afterward):

Your boss is a psychopath

Courtesy of LearnStuff

According to the infographic, psychopath bosses are costing the U.S. economy $300 billion a year, and 2 million people leave their jobs every year because of their bosses. That’s a lot of money and a lot of unhappy people. Here’s some other staggering stats on psychopath bosses:

  1. Workers spend an average of 19 hours a week worrying about what their boss says and does, and only 24 hours a week actually working.
  2. Stressed workers have a higher chance of heart disease, weight gain and hair loss.
  3. Under poor management, workplaces are 50% less productive and 44% less profitable.

I think a good question to ask is whether “psychopath” bosses or “teamwork” bosses are healthier at the workplace. As someone whose boss enjoys a teamwork approach—acts like another member of the team, doesn’t micromanage, and motivates rather than demands—I feel that I work in a happy, healthy work environment. Our team is productive, and while we’re not immune to workplace stress, we don’t spend hours worrying about meeting the demands of our boss. We have the freedom to be creative with our projects, and we feel successful in our achievements.

On the other hand, someone very close to me works for a psychopath boss. His work environment is always stressful, tasks are poorly managed, and his boss bullies his coworkers. New employees spend a week in training and then walk out in the middle of a shift. Poor management is directly causing wasted money on training new employees who don’t stick around. Workers never receive compliments on a job well done and therefore don’t get a sense of contributing to the company.

Comparing the two approaches to supervising, it’s plain to me to see why psychopath bosses are costing us so much time, money and stress. Bosses should encourage productivity in a sense of the bigger picture, the overall goals for the organization.

Do you have a psychopath boss, or have you worked for one? Do you think they have a negative impact on the workforce?

Cassie Dull writes about online communications and social media in education at edsocialmedia.com and blog.case.org.

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