Four in 10 employees say they suffer from a ‘bad boss’

Research by Robert Half shows UK bosses are failing employees who crave better management.

London, 25 April 2017 – Research by recruitment firm, Robert Half UK, has revealed four in 10 employees (39%) feel they are not well managed at work and are out of their depth in their roles.

With businesses seeing employee turnover increase by a third over the last three years, the research into workplace happiness revealed that UK employees crave better management and guidance from their employer, with 26% of employees feeling they don’t have the right skills or experience to do their job. Nearly one in five employees (18%) are also not clear of what is expected of them at work. To resolve this, managers need to set out clear expectations, offer regular training and opportunity for assessment, while employees also need to assume responsibility and ask for help.

'Ensuring employees understand how their skills and experience fit within the wider organisational goal and vision is crucial to their happiness at work,” advises Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half UK. “Employers constantly need to be looking for opportunities to better their employees, broaden their skill sets and develop them into productive, happy workers that contribute to their company culture. This will also help boost retention efforts.”

The research shows employees want better management and guidance from their bosses, particularly as they progress in their careers. Employees currently feel they have more support and training early on in their careers, with 71% of 18-34 year olds, claiming they are well managed. In comparison, just over half (56%) of 55+ year olds feel the same.

With four in five (79%) respondents seeing workplace happiness as a collaborate effort to be shared between employee and employer, figures show that despite all concerns, nearly two-thirds (63%) still manage to find a sense of accomplishment from their work.

“Proactively working with your employees to collectively improve their job satisfaction and overall happiness at work is vital for managing people effectively,” adds Sheridan. “Concerns over the skills shortage, employee retention and workplace productivity, are all high on a business leaders’ priority list today. Ensuring that all managers within your organisation are well trained to offer support and guidance to employees in the short and long-term can have a significant impact on employee happiness.”

- Ends -

Notes to editors

The annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and conducted by an independent research firm with more than 2,000 UK employees.

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About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and