Is your boss an unpredictable control freak?

THIS week's National Boss Day (October 16) has shone the spotlight on some startling research that has found more than 70% of Australians report they have no reason to thank their boss and more than a third believe they don't work very hard or have a lot of integrity.

One out of every five Australian bosses has been found to lose their temper at the office and are described as "unpredictable", "control freaks" and "narcissists" by their employees. The result is 40% of Australians feel unappreciated, uninspired, lonely, miserable and bored at work.

"This is a significant problem for employees, their organisations and the community at large," said Michelle McQuaid, an internationally acclaimed positive psychology who specialises in workplace interventions.

"It's time we stopped turning a blind eye to the toll of bad bosses, which costs our economy billions of dollars in lost productivity each year and wreaks havoc with the happiness, health and success of employees."

Traditionally a "greeting card" holiday, this year McQuaid is urging employees around the world at to take one of three actions on National Boss Day:

1. Thank them - If you have a good boss then thank them and be specific about what you appreciate so they can do more of it.
2. Improve them - If you have an okay boss but there's room for improvement then tell them what your strengths are - the things you like doing and are good at - and suggest new ways to use these in your job.
3. Manage them - If you have a difficult boss then it's time to get honest about what you're putting up with. There are 24 proven, practical ways using positive psychology, the science of wellbeing, that you can use to create win-win outcomes to overcome the terrors your boss is inflicting.


  • Nearly 40% of Australian employees feel unappreciated, uninspired, bored and miserable at work.
  • Only 21% of those polled describe their boss as great with 41% saying their bosses don't work very hard and close to 37% saying their boss has little or no integrity.
  • When stress levels rise at work, a disturbing 49% say their boss does not stay calm and in control.
  • Close to 60% of Australians say they would do a better job if they got along better with their boss.
  • More than 67% of those polled said they would be happier at work if they got along better with their boss, with women feeling this more than men.
  • More than 61% of those polled, think getting along with their boss would make them more productive, with this being truer for Gen X employees than Gen Y or Boomers.
  • 55% of employees said their health would improve if they got along better with their boss, with men feeling this more than women.
  • Only 29% of Australians will thank their boss on National Bosses Day with most believing there is no reason to thank their boss. More than 15% said they would use the day as an opportunity to talk to their boss and improve the relationship.

What is your boss like? Tell us in a comment below

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