More Than a Quarter of Bosses Have an Employee They'd Like to See Leave the Company, Finds CareerBuilder Study
New survey explores managers' opinions and behaviors regarding disfavored workers
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Most managers understand that the quality of their working relationships with employees can make or break on-the-job productivity, but just how pervasive are negative worker/boss pairings? And what are some warning signs that your manager may want you out?

A new CareerBuilder survey – conducted online by Harris Interactive from February 11 to March 6, 2013 among more than 2,000 U.S. employers – finds that 27 percent of bosses have a current direct report that they would like to see leave their company. The results were nearly equal by gender, but varied significantly by age, with younger managers (ages 25-34) more likely to report having an employee they would like to leave than older managers (ages 55+) by a margin of eight percentage points—32 to 24 percent, respectively.

How do managers confront the disfavored employee?
"It's important that managers be as direct as possible when dealing with employees that, for whatever reason, aren't a good fit for their teams," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "Fortunately, a plurality of managers in our survey were open to confronting the situation through a formal discussion or warning; however, some will do nothing at all, or even resort to passive aggressive behaviors that can only prolong a negative working arrangement. It's important that workers be aware of such warning signs, and if necessary, take steps to improve their situations."

When dealing with an employee they would like to leave, 42 percent of managers are likely to issue a formal warning. Other things managers say they are more likely to do that may serve as a red flag for workers include:

  • Point out shortcomings in employee's performance more often: 27 percent
  • Reduce responsibilities: 21 percent
  • Hire someone else to eventually replace the employee: 12 percent
  • Move the employee to another work area: 8 percent
  • Keep employee out of the loop regarding new company developments: 8 percent
  • Communicate primarily via email instead of in person or over the phone: 7 percent
  • Don't invite the employee to certain meetings or involve him/her in certain projects: 6 percent
  • Don't invite the employee to social gatherings with co-workers: 3 percent Nearly a third (32 percent) of managers said they would do none of the above.

Haefner offers the following tips for workers looking to repair relationships with management:

Recommit yourself to performance. Identify areas you can improve immediately and display your commitment to the company's objectives. A majority (63) percent of managers say the best thing a worker can do after a falling out with the boss is to simply improve the quality of work. In most cases, the negative attitudes will be history.

Don't hold a grudge or gossip. Fifty-nine percent of managers say one's ability to "move forward and not hold a grudge" is important to repairing working relationships. This is a two-way street, of course, but workers who are able to display professionalism in spite of personal differences will be in a better position to navigate office politics. Similarly, 38 percent of managers say simply not discussing the falling out with other colleagues is a smart way to repair a relationship.

Rewrite the terms. If you sense your manager is pushing you away, take preemptive action by presenting ideas that may improve the working relationship. Forty percent of managers cite this as a good way to move past the problem. Workers have the right to clear expectations of their roles and responsibilities. A conversation that redefines or clarifies those expectations is sometimes necessary. 

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,184 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 11 and March 6, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,184, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.1 percentage points.  Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 50 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and talent and compensation intelligence to recruitment solutions. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Ryan Hunt

SOURCE CareerBuilder