Bossy Business

October 11, 2016

Survey Reveals How Canadian Workers Feel About Their Managers

Toronto, ON – Many employees like their bosses, but managers still have much work to do, according to new research from staffing firm Accountemps. Nearly two in three workers (63 per cent) said they are happy with their supervisors, and another 30 per cent are somewhat happy with their bosses. Only seven per cent of workers give their manager a thumbs down.

Despite generally positive attitudes about the higher-ups, there were some areas where respondents felt their mangers could improve. Topping the list was communication, cited by 36 per cent of those polled, while giving recognition and helping with career progression were each named by 31 per cent of respondents.

The survey also found most professionals (66 per cent) don’t aspire their boss’s job. Among those who want to bypass that rung of the career ladder, the primary reason cited was not wanting the added stress and responsibility (46 per cent).

“Most employees appreciate that being a boss has its challenges, and are grateful for their manager’s direction; supervisors should work to maintain this positive rapport by continuing to look for opportunities for improvement, and to actively seek feedback from their staff,” said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. “Whether or not an employee’s career goals include management, great leaders engage with their workers to determine how they can help improve job satisfaction and encourage professional growth.”

Additional findings from the Accountemps survey include:

  • Workers age 18-34 are most eager to move up to their manager’s position, with 51 per cent citing they want their boss’s job compared to 25 per cent of respondents 34-55 and 13 per cent 55 and older.
  • Forty-three per cent have left a job because of a strained relationship with a supervisor, and 11 per cent would feel happy if their boss left the company.
  • More than one in 10 (15 per cent) professionals 55 and older are unhappy with their boss, the largest of any age group. This group also was the most likely to have quit a job over a strained or dysfunctional relationship with a manager.
  • Half of workers surveyed said their boss understands the demands of their job, but 12 per cent noted their supervisor has little understanding of their day-to-day reality.
  • Fifty-three per cent of millennials feel their boss recognizes their potential, compared to 61 per cent of workers 55 and older. 
  • Twenty-two per cent of workers consider their boss a friend, but the majority (59 per cent) cited their relationship as strictly professional.
  • The youngest workers had the most extensive wish lists. Most notably, compared to the other age groups, these professionals were more likely to want their managers to provide better support for career progression, communication, recognition for accomplishments and help promoting work-life balance.


Accountemps offers the following advice in four areas where managers and their employees can improve the boss-worker relationship:



Manager Tip

Employee Tip


Set clear expectations with staff, and foster an environment where they feel comfortable coming to you with questions. Seek learning opportunities be become a better communicator. Remember, too, this, involves being an active listener.

Pursue professional development to enhance your communication skills. Be open to – and act on – constructive feedback. If you’re not sure what your boss expects of you, ask him or her for clarification.

Career planning

Formulate and share career plans for your staff members. Identify specific milestones they need to reach and how you and the company can help them achieve their objectives.

Approach your manager about your potential career path at the company. Ask about specific areas you need to improve to meet your goals.


Show gratitude for a job well done and announce accomplishments to the rest of the team to boost morale. Professionals are happier and more likely to stay with a company if they feel appreciated.

Check in regularly with your manager to ensure he or she understands the full range of projects you’re tackling and your achievements. Be quick to praise others for their work, too.

Work-life balance

Explore offering flexible schedules and on-site perks such as gyms, nap rooms and free meals to help employees juggle the demands of work and personal obligations.

Talk to your boss if you feel overloaded. He or she may be able to bring in additional full-time or temporary employees to help you and the team.


About the Research
The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 400 Canadian workers 18 years of age or older.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 325 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at Follow us at @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]