Third of staff are too frightened to approach their line manager with a work problem

Third of staff don't trust that their managers to help them with work problems

Nearly a third (30 percent) of the working population have a manager they feel they can’t approach with a problem, while two in five employees describe their manager as ‘temperamental’, one third say their manager makes them feel ‘uncomfortable’, and one in 10 labels their manager as ‘scary’. This is according to data compiled by Citation, which probed the working nation to gather some exclusive intel into the traits of bad managers, and the ramifications employers could face. The results suggest that three in 10 employees have unapproachable managers, with employees aged between 18 and 24 least likely to feel comfortable approaching their manager, and those aged 65+ most likely. However, employees aged 65+ were significantly more likely to label their manager as unreasonable than any other age group. Geographically, it looks like Londoners are faced with the least forthcoming bosses, with Northern Ireland a close second.

Men are 10 percent more likely to describe their manager as unreasonable than women. On the other hand, women were 10 percent more likely to be left feeling uncomfortable as a result of their boss.

Those in the West Midlands were almost twice as likely to view their manager in a scary light, and 50 percent of employees in the North East described their boss as unreasonable – 11 percent more than the national average.

Furthermore, people in Northern Ireland and Yorkshire are markedly more likely to claim their managers lack experience.

The top terms used to describe bad managers are:

Temperamental 41 percent
Unreasonable 39 percent
They make me feel uncomfortable 33 percent
Inexperienced 30 percent
Scary 10 percent


Citation’s HR Business Partner, Jenny Ware, commented: “Having good managers in your business is essential as they’re a vital link between the business and your employees. A bad manager drives poor performance, higher absence, more disruption and is more likely to result in a higher employee turnover.”