What’s the worst behavior a boss can have in the workplace? According to a recent survey, it’s taking credit for an employee’s work.
Over 1,000 U.S. employees were asked to score 24 “typical boss behaviors” from “totally acceptable” to “totally unacceptable. The survey, performed by human resources software firm Bamboo HR, ranked taking credit for employees’ work as the No. 1 worst thing. And understandably so.
Imagine that you have been laboring over a project for days. Maybe even weeks. You pass the work on to your manager, only to have your boss accept the praise from superiors for a job well done — without giving you props.
Not only is it unfair, and infuriating, but the study says not receiving recognition for your hard work can negatively impact your career. If senior management doesn’t realize how hard you are working, you can get passed over for raises and promotions.
“We all want to see the fruit of our labors,” says Rusty Lindquist, VP of strategic HR insights and product marketing at Bamboo HR, in a statement to CNBC. “It’s that very process that incentivizes an organization to cultivate the trees that produce.”
However, if organizations are not careful they can end up cultivating a culture of credit takers instead of “value producers,” says Lindquist. It then becomes a “race to see who can take credit the fastest,” he adds.
Interestingly, the study found that younger employees are more likely to tolerate their managers taking credit for their work. The older employees get, however, “the more unacceptable it becomes,” the study says. For employees aged 18- 29, 57 percent say bosses who take credit for their work are unacceptable. For employees aged 60 and up, 77 percent find it totally unacceptable.
On the flip side, the bosses surveyed say they do not think their employees’ most-hated behaviors are that bad. “When it comes to taking credit for employees’ work, not trusting or empowering employees, and overworking employees, 20 percent fewer managers feel these behaviors are unacceptable,” according to the study.
This gap in opinions can be an issue for a company when it comes to employee retention. When a supervisor doesn’t acknowledge the hard work an employee has put in, it makes that employee feel as if their hard work was for nothing, says the study.
This leads to employees having lower morale, feeling underappreciated and eventually jumping ship. In fact, 44 percent of employees in the study say that a boss has been the primary reason they have left a job.
Retaining employees should be at the forefront of every company’s business model. Filling a vacant position is a big financial undertaking, according to a recent study by company review site Glassdoor. In addition, it takes HR recruiters 52 days to fill an open position, which is up from 48 days in 2011, says Glassdoor.
Other top 10 bad boss behaviors include the following: doesn’t appear to trust or empower you, doesn’t appear to care if you’re overworked, doesn’t appear to advocate for you when it comes to monetary compensation and hires and/or promotes the wrong people.
If you’re in the unfortunate situation where your boss takes credit for you work, the next step is to have a conversation with them, Lindquist tells CNBC. “If making them aware doesn’t help, then it might be a good time to go to HR and help raise their awareness,” he says, “because the truth is, if you’re affected, others will be too.”
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