Dealing with a bad boss increases stress levels in workers, many of whom already are dealing with an increased workload as a result of layoffs engendered by the recent recession. And because of the recession and workforce shrinkage, the option of leaving that job and finding an alternative means of employment is not as possible as it was in years past.
The Labor Department reported Friday the unemployment rate rose a tick in June to 9.2 percent (14.1 million people looking for jobs, with 6.3 million characterized as long-term unemployed) and only 18,000 new jobs were created -- a fraction of what's needed.
Wayne Hochwarter, a professor of business administration at Florida State University, surveyed 400 mid-level employees in various industries and found 42 percent said their bosses were more concerned about saving their own jobs than developing employees and making them more productive and a like percentage said they never received things that were promised to them.
Additionally, more than 40 percent said they would not acknowledge their bosses if they met on the street and another 40 percent said the only "fun thing about work is leaving."
Thirty-four percent called their bosses "two-faced" and 32 percent described a supervisor as "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" while 29 percent said their bosses would throw them "under the bus" if it meant saving their own jobs. Twenty-four percent said they caught their bosses in flat-out lies and 20 percent said they heard supervisors threatening a co-worker, saying they could "get them fired if they wanted to."
"For workers in declining industries such as construction and manufacturing, catching on with a company able to offer comparable wages has been virtually impossible," Hochwarter said in a release. "Plan B just doesn't exist for many employees at the level it did five or 10 years ago."
How does one get out from under a bad boss' thumb?
Career coach Ford R. Myers has 10 pointers he said should be in every job-seeker's tool kit.
Myers advises writing five or six stories about an accomplishment that made you proud and produced results, preparing a 15-second commercial about who you are professionally, writing a one-page narrative with bullet points of tangible results (write this in the third person), making a wish-list of what you want in an employer and creating a contact list of everyone you know personally and professionally.
Myers also advises listing colleagues who have positive things to say about you, requesting letters of recommendation from four or five associates on company letterhead, creating a list of specific steps for networking, keeping a detailed account of job-search activities and including accomplishments for each job listed on your resume.
The advice comes just in time. CareerBuilder's latest survey of 2,600 hiring managers and human resources professionals indicates 47 percent of employers plan to hire new employees through the end of the year, up six points from 2010, with 35 percent of those full-time positions, up from 28 percent in 2010.
The largest number of jobs will be in customer service (23 percent), followed by information technology (21 percent), sales (20 percent), administrative (15 percent), business development (11 percent), accounting and finance (10 percent) and marketing (9 percent). The most jobs are being created in the South, followed by the West, Northeast and Midwest.
Matt Ferguson, CareerBuilder's chief executive officer, said unlike last year when U.S. job creation was limited to certain sectors or departments, this year we're "seeing job creation in all industries, functions and company sizes.
"Our survey, listings on CareerBuilder.com, and conversations we have with employers on a daily basis all indicate that hiring activity will sustain and improve in the months to come with a diverse mix of jobs," Ferguson said in a release. "While higher energy prices, debt, inflation and other factors may deter a significant acceleration in hiring, employers have encouraging news for the millions of Americans who are looking for jobs."
More jobs means more competition for talent and 35 percent of those surveyed said they are concerned top talent will leave their organizations and 50 percent said there is a shortage of skills in their organizations, the most in information technology, customer service and communications. Thirty-six percent of human resource managers said they can't find qualified candidates for open positions.
In the second quarter, 29 percent of employers added full-time, permanent employees, compared with 24 percent last year and 28 percent in the first quarter. In the last eight quarters, actual hiring exceeded expectations, CareerBuilder said.
The survey was conducted May 19-June 8 and has an error rate of 1.9 percentage points.