How swaggering bosses stress out staff

18 February 2015 -


Confidence is all well and good, but the effects of overbearing management can translate into bullying in the workplace

Bosses’ misplaced confidence is stressing out the UK’s workforce, according to research.

A CMI survey has shown that managerial swagger, coupled with a lack of skills, is forcing three in four workers to take decisions they feel unqualified to make.

And 55% complain that their manager lacks the ability to do their job – while expressing undue levels of confidence.

Some 39% think their boss’s behaviour increases stress, 34% say their boss reduces enjoyment of their job, and 10% blame their boss for their declining health – all hallmarks of bullying in the workplace.

The worrying findings chime with CMI ’s economic outlook survey, which reveals that 70% of managers have experienced a drop in morale in their organisation in the past six months.

What is behind this? CMI is particularly worried that 61% of workers have wanted to ask their boss for help with a decision but have been denied the opportunity. This lack of support appears to be affecting performance – nearly a quarter of employees are regularly worried about making decisions while one in ten admit covering up their mistakes.

Former CMI chief executive Ruth Spellman warned that the findings proved that UK managers must work harder to support their workforce. “To engage employees we need managers who are fully committed to supporting their teams,” she said. “It seems this ideal is far from being achieved.”

Reasons to be fearful...

1. 55% of workers say their manager lacks sufficient ability to do their job

2. 34% of workers feel that their boss compromises their enjoyment of their job

3. 10% of workers blame their boss for their declining health

Image courtesy of KieferPix / Shutterstock.

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