Why You Should Never Tolerate Terrible Bosses

Bad managers don’t simply ruin morale—they cost you money.

We’ve all worked for one at some point: horrible bosses. They suck the life out of a business, alienate staff and wreak havoc, costing a company goodwill and potential profit. Maybe they’re really good at keeping costs in check, or they’re culinary geniuses with a loyal foodie following. Maybe they’re members of your family. Regardless, they’ve got to go, and here are just a few reasons why you should never tolerate terrible bosses.

Finding good help is hard enough. Low wages and high turnover at retailers and restaurants is a big enough challenge. Add a bad boss to the mix and you’re tempting disaster. It’s often observed that employees don’t quit a company—they quit a manager. Research from BambooHR found that 44% of people left a job because of their boss’s behavior. If your staff turnover is even higher than average, it might be time for exit interviews. Ask departing employees what pushed them out the door. If a pattern seems to be emerging, action is needed before it’s too late.

Disgruntled employees can do plenty of damage. A superstar manager who treats the staff right motivates a can-do attitude and a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done and make customers happy. A supervisor who manages using fear or intimidation to get things done, on the other hand, can drive the opposite effect. Staff members who are subjected to bad behavior can respond by sabotaging your business. An unhappy team member can deliberately cause chaos in the kitchen, retaliate by wasting product or slowing their pace, or spread negative vibes on social media. Sites like Glassdoor, which provide insiders’ reviews of employers, could make it even more difficult for you to recruit new team members if you continue to employ a difficult manager.

The trickle-down effect can impact your sales. A stress-filled workplace with poor morale is difficult to disguise. Your customers will notice, and they won’t feel the love that could help keep them loyal to you. No one wants to shop in a store or dine in a restaurant with a toxic atmosphere. What’s more, online reviewers will most likely pick up on the tension and share their observations, which could prevent potential new customers from ever setting foot in your business.

Horrible bosses tend to cause stress, which can create health issues. Heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal disorders, substance abuse and other maladies result from persistent work-related stress.

Bad bosses could harm your bottom line in other ways. Sexual harassment, sloppy service, yelling, a bullying atmosphere, lack of a cohesive team, even things like food safety glitches and record-keeping errors can all bring down a business. High turnover also hurts productivity. Your top performers won’t put up with a toxic workplace and will go to work for the competition, hurting you twice.

With all of these potential drawbacks, there’s no reason to put up with a horrible boss—ever.