These are 9 traits of a toxic boss


Despite workplace practices improving in many environments, toxic bosses are not a thing of the past. According to a new Harris Poll report, they’re everywhere. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of workers have had a toxic boss at one point or another, and about a third (31%) are currently working with one, according to the poll of 1,233 American workers.

Toxic bosses are more than a minor annoyance. They cause employees anxiety that disrupts their personal lives. According to the report, 71% have anxiety over the weekend about returning to work on Monday. More than half (53%) say they’ve had nightmares about their boss, and 41% say they have sought therapy because of a toxic boss.

While two-thirds (66%) of people with a toxic boss say they’re actively job-hunting, most people have to stay in their job for financial reasons (72%) or because there are other convenient benefits of their job, like it being close to where they live (72%). Another 65% can’t quit because they’ll lose their benefits. And 65% stick it out because they know finding a new job will be challenging.

Sadly, some toxic bosses might not know that their behavior is causing employees so much stress. So, let’s break it down.

These are the most prevalent behaviors that employees find in toxic bosses:

Words matter, too, when it comes to how a boss’ team views them. And according to the survey, a lot of toxic phrases are being thrown around in workplaces. Over two-thirds (68%) have heard the phrase, “What I say is final because I am the boss.” Two-thirds have been told, ”You’re lucky to have a job in today’s economy.” And another 63% have been told, ”Listen, I had to work these crazy hours when I was your age.”

Well, toxic bosses, luckily a lot has changed since then. And these days, we’re calling out toxic behavior in the office. But as Harris Poll’s report shows, we’ve still got a long way to go before most employees can brag about having a great boss.


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