Workplace Jerks

My last post shared an e-mail from a friend about a bad boss. Another associate told me about her experience with a previous employer – one manager there was so bad the staff created its own nickname for this person: TW (short for “train wreck”).

Unfortunately, workplace jerks abound. And they can be found in management as well as in the rank-and-file. A recent article in the McKinsey Quarterly on “Building the Civilized Workplace” describes the fallout from these jerks:

“Companies that put up with the jerks not only can have more difficult recruiting and retaining the best and brightest talent but are also prone to higher client churn, damaged reputations, and diminished investor confidence.”

The author of this article, Robert Sutton, has a new book out on this subject, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t.

Sounds like great reading for my friends.

2 replies on “Workplace Jerks”

I’m not sure what advice Sutton has in his book about how to cope with this situation, but I’ll bet these companies have high employee turnover! Seriously, my only experience has been with bosses, not CEOs or owners, who behaved badly. It gave me one hell of a learning experience in how NOT to treat people. If any readers have experience in surviving or coping with these head jerks-in-charge, your advice is welcome.

Very true. What happens when the President/owner of a company is a first class abusive jerk? Is there any hope for a company whose top leadership is completely beyond the realm of civilized behavior?

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