The No Asshole Rule delves into the problem of bullying or aggressive co-workers, who in many cases rise to management positions. Sutton provocatively labels them assholes.
The book lays out the effect these employees can have on a business, and gives advice on how to develop an asshole-free environment.
Lots of workplaces tolerate poor behavior without realizing the damage it causes.
In offices where assholes go unchallenged, employee morale is undeniably lower than in comparable workplaces which maintain a friendly, respectful and professional atmosphere.
This has a huge effect on everybody’s productivity.
Employees with low morale are more likely to resign, take more sick leave and are generally less productive. They may get their own back by skipping work, producing poor results, or even stealing.
Assholes sap their colleagues’ energy – that goes for onlookers working in a hostile environment as well as direct victims.
Assholes in positions of power are particularly damaging. The employees under their management work with the constant threat of humiliation and expend their energy on avoiding it rather than focusing on good work. This quickly leads to a fearful, unproductive atmosphere.
Tolerating assholes is therefore a costly mistake for a business. The quality of work goes down as the best employees, who have more options available, leave for asshole-free workplaces.
Assholes are bad for business – especially when they hold management positions.