Adecco Group North America’s Annual National Boss Day Survey


Survey background:

In honor of National Boss Day, observed this year on Monday, October 17, Adecco Group North America wanted to tap into employed Americans’ insights to find out more about the employee and boss relationship. The survey addressed several questions such as: What conversation topics are employees most uncomfortable discussing with their boss? What personal questions would employees like to ask their boss about their jobs? If employees could tell their boss to change one thing about themselves, what would it be? Are employees connected to bosses through social media channels – and if they are, why?


This omnibus telephone survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation International on behalf of Adecco Group North America among a nationally representative sample of 834 full or part-time employed American adults 18 years of age and older. The survey was fielded between September 8 – 12, 2011.  Results have a margin of error of +/- 3.4% at the 95% confidence level.

Key survey findings

  • President Obama would make the best boss relative to other likely 2012 presidential candidates.
  • The majority of employees are happy with who’s in charge and feel strongly that their boss would fight to keep them.
    • A majority (59 percent) of employed Americans would not change anything about their boss.
    • 78 percent also feel that their boss would ‘go to bat’ for them if their job was on the line.
  • Employees question whether their bosses are passionate about their jobs – this was the key question a quarter of employed Americans said they would most want to ask their boss if they had a chance.
    • Employees making less than $75,000 per year are almost twice as likely to want to ask their boss about his/her salary (24 percent), compared to those making more than $75,000 (14 percent).
  • No battle of the sexes in the office - women and men tend to work for their own sex.
    • Men are more likely to have male bosses (76 percent, compared to 46 percent of women), and women are more likely to have female bosses (52 percent, compared to 21 percent of men).
  • Relationship status most uncomfortable topic in the workplace, outranking politics, religion, weight and age.
    • A quarter of Americans say the topic they are most uncomfortable discussing is their relationship with a significant other – followed by political beliefs (16 percent) and medical history (11 percent).
  • Opportunities for awkwardness abound outside of the workplace.
    • Double-dating with your significant others (43 percent) and going to a movie (38 percent) are two of the most awkward activities to do with a boss.
  • A large majority of employed Americans are not connected to any of their former bosses via social networks.
    • Those that are connected to ex-bosses are most likely to have friendly relationships with them beyond work.

Employees Actually Like Their Boss – and Think Their Boss Would Go to Lengths to Protect their Job


Employees are Happy with Who’s in Charge and Think Their Boss Would Fight to Keep Them

Employees are Happy with Who’s in Charge and Think Their Boss Would Fight to Keep Them

Employees Question If Bosses Are Passionate About Their Jobs

Employees Question their Boss’ Passion for Work

President Obama the Favorite for Top Boss Spot

President Obama Would Make the Best Boss of the 
2012 Presidential Candidates

President Obama Popular as Best Boss Among the Young and the Old

No Battle Of The Sexes in the Office, Women Have Female Bosses and Men Have Male Bosses

Women Work for Women, Men Work for Men

Location Matters When It Comes To Boss’ Gender

Age Is Only A Number –Relationships Most Uncomfortable Topic To Discuss With Bosses

Most Uncomfortable Topic in the Office: Relationships

Ex-bosses And Employees Are Not Friends On Social Networks Unless They Are Friends Outside Of Work

Most Employees Do Not Keep in Touch with Ex-Bosses via Social Networks

Opportunities for Awkwardness Abound for Those that Socialize with their Bosses

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