Angry boss yelling at woman at her desk in front of office

(© fizkes -

NEW YORK — How important is having a good boss for the average worker’s career? American office workers say they would rather have more feedback from their managers than more money, a new study reveals.

The survey of 2,000 Americans examined the vital role manager-worker relationships play in the workplace. Over a third of respondents are office workers, many of whom are now working from home due to the pandemic. They listed more feedback on their role as the number one thing (53%) they want to see more of from their boss. That beat out extra compensation (48%) and more honest communication (48%).

Are managers slacking during COVID?

Two in three office workers (66%) believe the pandemic has negatively affected their relationship with their boss; so much so that 52 percent revealed they’re actively looking or plan to search for a new job because of their manager.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Motivosity, also showed that 65 percent of office workers think they could do their job a lot more effectively if they just had a better boss.

A Better BossThe results took a dive into our relationship with our bosses and showed a few areas where respondents wished they would scale back. Over half (55%) wished there were fewer “pointless meetings,” while 47 percent think there should be fewer last-minute emergencies. Two in five people add they’d like their manager to stop micromanaging them.

All of these stressors have led to a breakdown in communication with over half the poll (55%) admitting to lying to their managers. Of those, the results discovered that they lie to their boss about five times a week on average. All hope is not lost though when it comes to the manager-worker relationship. Of respondents who have been employed (78%), seven in ten have thought of a manager as a role model.

When it comes to the top qualities respondents appreciate in bosses, a positive attitude tops the list at 46 percent. Communication skills (46%) and organizational skills (43%) round out the top three.

“Managers are key to great company cultures. They impact how people feel about showing up to work every day. Essentially 46 percent of your team is asking for leaders who bring a positive attitude to work and communicate consistently. That requires an intentional approach and the right tools, but it doesn’t take massive budgets or years of training,” says Logan Mallory, Vice President of Marketing at Motivosity, in a statement.

The right role model can have a lasting impact

A Better BossA positive influence like an admirable boss can have a long-term influence. In fact, 71 percent of respondents said their role models impact their behavior on a daily basis. The average person has four role models in their lifetime, who range from family members like mothers (59%), fathers (61%), and grandparents (44%) to people respondents have never actually met.

Beyond personal relationships, 45 percent of respondents said they admire a historical figure and over two in five (42%) look up to a writer. Forty percent view a politician as a motivator while over a third (35%) admire an activist. Another 38 percent consider a director or actor worthy of praise.

“Team members give their best effort when they’re working for someone they respect and trust,” Mallory adds. “The best managers act more like coaches: Set the right priorities, check-in with consistent 1 on 1s and take a consultative approach rather than being directive. If managers do that and make sure their team’s day-to-day work is noticed and appreciated, it makes all the difference.”

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink


Chris Melore


Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor