Here Are The States Where People Dislike Their Boss The Most- And Why

By Kathy Morris
Jul. 16, 2020
Articles In Life At Work Guide

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States Where People Dislike Their Boss The Most Map

Is your boss the worst?

You aren’t alone. While the majority of people don’t despise their current boss, most people have dealt with a bad boss before. In fact, the majority of people have had a boss so horrible they left their job to escape them.

We surveyed 2,000 workers to learn more about toxic employee-boss relationships, including what behaviors make some bosses so disliked in the first place!

Keep reading to see what drives workers crazy and where in the country the most people have a dart-board with their boss’ face on it, or skip to the bottom to see the full ranked list.

Other Findings

  • Micromanagement may be the biggest sin of bad bosses, but its closely followed by being unavailable and incompetence

  • New Mexico workers dislike their bosses the most- with 33% saying their boss is pretty bad

  • Where do people like their boss the most? Mississippi. In fact, no one would admit to hating their boss there. Or so they say.

  • While most states say their boss’ worst trait is micromanagement, there are outliers. Kentucky, for instance, is the land of gossipy bosses and people in Arkansas are sick of condescending bosses.

  • People who work 20-50 ft of their bosses are the pretty apathetic- they’re the most likely to say their boss isn’t the best or the worst

Why Do People Dislike Their Boss?

People’s #1 least favorite traits in a boss are micromanagement, unavailable, and incompetence. So, if you’re a boss wondering why your employees don’t like you… those are a pretty good place to start. In fact, you might want to do some soul searching about your management mistakes.

After all, if your employees are quitting because they can’t stand you, it’s a pretty big company expense and a lot of your time is probably spent replacing those pesky employees who hate you.

What other common reasons did people mention for disliking (or hating…) their boss?

  • Playing favorites
  • Poor hygiene (smell was mentioned a surprising amount!)
  • Nepotism
  • Racism/prejudice/sexism
  • Greedy
  • Narcissism
  • Too nice
  • Forgetful
  • Loud/obnoxious/Annoying

Well, don’t be too nice. Or to not nice. Or too present, or too unavailable. Seems simple enough? Right?

Of course, those are just the other common reasons. We left off some pretty out there reasons such as “too much perfume”, “attacked with shopping cart”, “manslaughter (!!!)”, “sat on my boyfriend’s lap”, and “captured a rat at work and brought it home.” Or at least we think these aren’t common reasons.

What Grinds Each State’s Gears The Most

We tallied up all the reasons people dislike their bosses (not just the #1 reason like above.) Over 24 states say their boss’ worst trait is micromanagement. Another 8 hate how unavailable their boss is. Maybe they can swap?

Of course, some states are outliers. Kentucky’s biggest management problem is bosses who love to gossip. And down in Arkansas people hate their condescending bosses. Other bad traits that states hate the most? Rudeness, incompetence, and lack of empathy.

Where You Sit May Impact How Positive You Feel Towards Your Boss

Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. At least not of your boss.

The people most likely to answer “My boss is excellent” sit next to their boss. Maybe the sharing of snacks, tidbits about your weekend, and all that face-to-face communication pays of. With the increase in people working remotely, this might have some worried they are losing synergy. However, it is worth noting, that while remote workers don’t love their bosses as much, they are the least likely to “strongly dislike” their employees.

The numbers level a bit after that. And the vast majority of workers “like” their boss or ambivalent towards them if not best friends. Is that so terrible?

METHODOLOGY, a career resource website, conducted a study of 2,000 workers across the U.S. to learn more about employee and boss interactions.

Each respondent was asked a series of questions about their feelings on their boss and past bosses. To determine which state dislikes their boss the most, we added the number of people who said they “dislike their boss” and “strongly dislike their boss.” The higher percent of workers who responded this way, the more people in each state who dislike their boss.

Is Your Boss The Worst?

You can see the full ranked list of the amount of people in each state who think their boss is pretty crummy. Of course, there is some optimism in this story, because while most people have left a job due to a bad boss, most people don’t hate their current boss.

Hopefully you personally have a satisfactory, professional relationship with your boss. For better or worse, you spend eight hours a day in the same world as them. A bad boss can make 8 hours seem like eighty. While some of the reasons people said they disliked their boss were mild (cheesy jokes, too much perfume), others were profoundly serious (harassment, prejudice, and other toxic, degrading behaviors).

Every worker deserves a safe, welcoming environment. If your boss is in anyway violating or creating an uncomfortable environment, you should follow whatever channels are available to you, including HR intervention.

Of course, if you’re just over the Chanel No 5. and the dad jokes, it may be time to find a new job (and boss!) that’s more to your liking.

Rank State % Who Dislike Their Boss
1 New Mexico 33.3%
2 Oklahoma 32.3%
3 Alabama 24.1%
4 Michigan 22.4%
5 Iowa 20.8%
6 Ohio 19.1%
7 Georgia 18.7%
8 Arkansas 18.2%
9 Oregon 17.9%
10 Louisiana 17.6%
11 New York 17.1%
12 Rhode Island 16.7%
13 New Jersey 16.7%
13 Montana 16.7%
13 Maine 16.7%
16 Pennsylvania 16.5%
17 Maryland 16.1%
18 Indiana 15.7%
19 Virginia 15.3%
20 Missouri 14.6%
21 Idaho 14.3%
21 Connecticut 14.3%
23 Florida 14.0%
24 Colorado 14.0%
25 California 13.6%
26 Arizona 13.5%
27 Hawaii 13.3%
28 North Carolina 13.1%
29 Utah 12.9%
30 Tennessee 12.8%
31 South Dakota 12.5%
31 Delaware 12.5%
31 West Virginia 12.5%
31 New Hampshire 12.5%
35 Illinois 12.1%
36 Texas 11.4%
37 Wisconsin 11.1%
38 Wyoming 11.1%
39 Minnesota 10.3%
40 Nebraska 10.0%
40 South Carolina 10.0%
42 Washington 9.8%
43 North Dakota 8.3%
44 Vermont 7.7%
45 Alaska 5.0%
46 Kentucky 4.8%
46 Kansas 4.8%
48 Nevada 4.5%
49 Massachusetts 3.7%
50 Mississippi 0.0%

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Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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Topics: Study