Abrasive Leaders

Abrasive leaders and managers are costly to organizations. Employees on the receiving end of their treatment are often less productive, experience greater levels of stress, and sometimes leave the company in order to escape their miserable working conditions.

Despite these costs, companies typically struggle getting these leaders to change their behaviors. Having a clear code of conduct helps, but it’s not enough to rein in the behaviors of bosses that bully.

I provide one-on-one coaching to help abrasive leaders and managers change these behaviors. Critical to the process is involving the manager in understanding the negative perceptions of their behaviors, and then working with them to explore how they might achieve positive changes in those perceptions. It is a respectful, evidence-based, collaborative approach to improving behavior.

  • Do you work for an abrasive leader or manager?  A manager that frequently humiliates, intimidates, or is abusive to his/her employees? 
  • Or are you an HR Manager who has received complaints about the bullying behaviors of a particular manager? 
  • Perhaps you’re a leader in your organization who has an abrasive manager working for you and you are at a loss as to what to do about the situation.

If any of these statements describe you or your company, the time to act is now. The costs are significant to both people and your bottom line.

The high costs of abrasive leaders
  • Turnover costs: The cost of replacing employees who leave because of bullying for a company with 10,000 employees and annual revenue of $500 million is $36.1 million dollars. This conservative estimate results in a cost that is just over 7% of annual revenue.
  • Disruptive behaviors in healthcare: In a 2008 study by the Veterans Health Administration West Coast, 77% of the nurses and physicians surveyed reported they had witnessed disruptive behaviors in physicians, and 65% had witnessed disruptive behavior in nurses. Two-thirds agreed these disruptive behaviors were linked with “adverse events,” including medical errors. Twenty-seven percent agreed these behaviors were linked with patient deaths.
  • Stress and related negative health outcomes: Days off of work due to anxiety, stress, and related disorders is more than four times the number of days off due to injury and other kinds of illness. Workplace bullying results in anxiety, increased pessimism and cynicism, depression, and other negative outcomes, and is a large contributor to the huge cost of absenteeism–which can run into the several millions of dollars for larger companies.
  •  Retaliation by the target: In a recent study by workplace incivility researchers Christine Pearson and Christine Porath, 48% of those targeted by workplace bullying intentionally decreased their work effort, 47% intentionally decreased time at work, and 38% decreased work quality.