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Flowchart: Are You Working for a Toxic Boss?

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Bad Leaders Are You Dealing with a Toxic Boss

Flowchart: Are You Working for a Toxic Boss?

The experience of less-than-ideal work situations are common, and the global pandemic has likely heightened challenges for bosses and employees alike. How can mediocre or outright hostile leadership impact your ability to work well?

This flowchart from Resume.io helps you figure out if you’ve got a toxic boss weighing you down. It covers seven archetypes of toxic bosses, and how to respond to each one.

The 7 Types of Toxic Bosses

Barbara Kellerman, a professor of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School identifies seven types of toxic bosses that can exist.

NumberToxic Boss TypeDescription
#1Incompetent BossUnable or unwilling to do their job well
#2Rigid BossConfuses inflexibility with strength
#3Intemperate BossLacks self-knowledge and self-control
#4Callous BossLacks empathy and kindness
#5Corrupt BossSteals or cheats to promote their own interests
#6Insular BossIs cliquish or unreachable
#7Evil BossCauses pain to further their sense of power and dominance

Some bosses simply don’t have the capacity to do their jobs, which makes it more difficult for their employees. Others can be corrupt or callous, creating a highly unmotivating work environment.

But how many people are in this situation?

To give a few quick examples, around 13% of all employees in Europe work under a toxic boss. In the U.S., a whopping 75% say they have left a job primarily because of a bad boss.

What’s so Bad about a Bad Boss?

Bosses can make or break your job experience. Having a toxic boss can cause your quality of work to suffer, which can then trickle down to impact your overall career.

In fact, Harvard Business Review found that a toxic work environment can lead to decreased motivation and employee disengagement. This has significant knock-on effects such as:

  • 37% higher absenteeism
  • 60% more errors in their work
  • 18% lower productivity

According to the same study, this can cause companies to have 16% lower profitability and a 65% lower share price over time.

The physical side effects are not to be underestimated, either. One Swedish study found that a bad boss who increases your job strain can, in tandem, increase your chance of cardiac arrest by 50%. Additionally, a study out of Stanford found that mismanagement in the American workplace and subsequent stress could potentially be responsible for 120,000 deaths per year.

Tips to Deal with a Toxic Boss

Bad bosses can hurt the company, the overall work environment, and can impact your professional growth and personal health.

So, what can you do about it?

NumberToxic Boss TypeSolution
#1Incompetent BossUse initiative
#2Rigid BossUse the power of persuasion
#3Intemperate BossLook for opportunities
#4Callous BossAsk for a 1-on-1 meeting
#5Corrupt BossFind co-workers who share your concerns
#6Insular BossOffer them opportunities to open up
#7Evil BossTake a stand

Different kinds of bosses require different approaches, and some simply aren’t worth putting up with. For instance, taking initiative with an incompetent boss is one relatively easy solution, but having a 1-on-1 with a callous boss takes more effort. An evil boss requires intervention from HR.

If you don’t have a toxic boss, consider yourself lucky. Here are two ways to keep your working relationship strong:

  • Take initiative
  • Keep up open communication
  • Ask for constant feedback so you know where you stand
  • Under-promise and over-deliver

What Can Bosses Do?

Toxic bosses can have disastrous consequences on employees and companies. According to one Gallup survey, at minimum, 75% of the reasons for voluntary turnover can be influenced by managers.

After looking at some of the ways employees can address toxic bosses, how can bosses ensure their work environment is healthy? Harvard Business Review recommends four main things:

  • Encourage social connections
  • Show empathy
  • Go out of your way to help
  • Encourage employees to talk to you—especially about their problems

The future of work may be changing, with remote work becoming more popular and feasible. This can pose problems in creating a strong work culture.

However, if bosses and employees can work together to foster a positive and healthy work environment, everyone, including the bottom line, will benefit.

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Ranked: America’s Best Places to Work in 2024

Glassdoor’s annual list is determined by an algorithm that converts reviews to ratings—here are America’s 15 best places to work since 2020.

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A cropped chart with Glassdoor's top 15 ranking of America's Best Places to Work since 2020.

Which Companies Are Considered America’s Best Places to Work?

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Research is divided on when is the best time to look for a new job, but it’s undeniable that a new year tends to hasten psychological effects: new beginnings, fresh clarity, and a renewed purpose. So for those on the lookout, it’s also useful to know which companies are the best places to work in the country—as rated by their employees.

Based on data gathered by recruiting website Glassdoor, here are America’s top 15 best places to work in 2024.

Glassdoor’s results are determined by their ‘proprietary algorithm’ which converts workplace reviews (rating companies on nine attributes like compensation, benefits, culture, etc.) from current and former employees, into a ranking. To read their full methodology, visit their website.

Ranked: America’s Best Places to Work in 2024

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, consulting firm Bain & Company is the best place to work in 2024 according to their employees on Glassdoor. The company’s page specifies what makes them so good: benefits, reliable teammates, growth opportunities, and crucially, strong leadership.

Here’s America’s top 15 best places to work in in 2024.

Rank Best Places to Work (2024)
1Bain & Company
2NVIDIA
3ServiceNow
4MathWorks
5Procore Technologies
6In-N-Out Burger
7VMware
8Deltek
92020 Companies
10Fidelity Investments
11Crew Carwash
12Keller Williams
13Delta Air Lines
14Raymond James Financial
15Adobe

Chipmaker Nvidia, whose stock has been on a tear in the last year, ranks second. Reviews cite work flexibility, workplace culture, and of course, focused leadership. In fact, Jensen Huang was recently rated America’s most popular CEO by professional social networking site Blind.

Three mid-sized tech companies, ServiceNow (cloud computing), MathWorks (mathematical computing software), and Procore Technologies (construction management software), round out the top five best workplaces in America.

Ranked in sixth is a break from the norm so far: beloved fast food place, In-N-Out Burger.

Missing from 2024’s list is Google which has dropped to 26th from eigth place in 2023. By doing so: no Big Tech company features in the top 15 best places to work for the first time in five years.

Rank 2020202120222023
1HubSpotBain & CoNVIDIAGainsight
2Bain & CoNVIDIAHubSpotBox
3DocuSignIn-N-Out BurgerBain & CoBain & Co
4In-N-Out BurgerHubSpoteXp RealtyMcKinsey
5Sammons Financial
Group
McKinseyBoxNVIDIA
6Lawrence Livermore
National Lab
GoogleBCGMathWorks
7Intuitive SurgicalDelta Air LinesGoogleBCG
8UKGLululemonVeterans United
Home Loans
Google
9VIPKidMicrosoftLululemonServiceNow
10Southwest AirlinesH E B SalesforceIn-N-Out Burger
11GoogleMetaRoyal Caribbean
Group
HubSpot
12LinkedInBCGNASA Jet
Propulsion
Slalom
13BCGLinkedInFive9Microsoft
14Trader Joe'sStrykerTwilioAdobe
15CoverMyMedsDocuSign
Johns Hopkins
Applied Physics
CrowdStrike

In fact, Big Tech does surprisingly poorly on these rankings despite the record profit and revenue they pull in every year.

Tech & Consulting Losing Sheen

A chart showing Glassdoor's rankings of major tech and consulting companies on their Best Places to Work list since 2019.

Apple for example has never been ranked higher than 31—which they achieved back in 2021.

Microsoft and Meta have done better in the past, but together with Google have slid down Glassdoor’s rankings rapidly, in conjunction with the recurring mass layoffs they’ve executed in the last two years.

And while Bain & Co head this year’s list, other major players in the same space—Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company—are now at their worst ranks since 2019.

Smaller consulting firms have been struggling in the last year or so, as higher interest rates have hit everything from technology companies, to banks, to real estate conglomerates—all usual clients for consulting companies.

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