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A recent survey by HR provider Randstad USA found that 60% of employees have left jobs due to issues with their direct supervisor. Dana Brownlee, author of The Unwritten Rules of Managing Up, says that, in the case of an emotionally abusive boss, it may be best to remove oneself from the situation and move to a new department or supervisor. If asked to do something they are not comfortable with, the employee can push back and ask for clarification before escalating the situation. Employment attorney Davida Perry says workers have legal protections and recommends that employees with abusive (but not criminal) bosses keep a paper trail, making it easier to talk to someone who is trained in best practices. Shane Metcalf, an executive coach, says that employee satisfaction is critical to a company’s success because they, not their managers, produce the bulk of the company’s value, and they can always choose to leave. Metcalf explains that employers are aware that they depend on their employees, and managers are expected to increase retention; a negative review on a site like Glassdoor will put a mark on the company’s employer brand. There are also outside services for when these routes are not enough. For example, through the service Warble, workers can anonymously report destructive behavior. If the site receives enough complaints about a specific supervisor, the supervisor’s boss is sent an alert, offering them what Founder Carolyn Holliday calls “a chance to fix it before people quit and there are bigger problems.”

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