Workers Report Boss Tongue Lashings

June 4, 2002 ( - At one time or another, most people have experienced the deflating feeling from getting a workplace tongue lashing from a supervisor. A recent survey found that, for about a third of workers, the experience took place sometimes or frequently.

According to the survey by the True North Leadership, a consulting and training company, respondents 35 to 44 years old were the hardest hit with about a third having had a demotivating experience.

The survey found that:

  • 18% of workers between 45 and 54 had a demotivating experience,
  • as did 22% of the 55 to 64 group, and
  • 6% of workers over age 65

Tongue Lashings Stats

Results of the survey also show that the more money a worker makes, the more likely they are to get ragged on from above. Workers earning less than $25,000 report significantly fewer incidents of demotivation when compared with the next highest income bracket of $25,000-$50,000. Further,

  • some 28% of those earning between $50,000 and $75,000 say they’ve been given a tongue lashing by a superior,
  • as did 31% of employees bringing in more than $75,000 per year

In addition:

  • 32% of Northeast respondents saying tongue-lashings happen frequently to them, compared to 23.5% of employees in the Midwest,
  • some 28% of white workers say they have experienced demotivation at work, compared with 23% of non-white employees, and
  • college-educated employees are demotivated by managers at much higher rates than are those with education levels of high school or lower

The survey queried 669 Americans between April 19 and 21, 2002.