Even I was surprised when I read this week's Dream Employers survey of 7000 workers in Australia and New Zealand, which found that half of Kiwi workers want to leave their current employer and only a third of them would recommend their boss.
It's even worse in the hospitality sector, where a staggering two-thirds of workers want to sack their boss.
I have represented several hundreds of hospitality workers who have been treated abysmally and these findings back up my experience.
As the survey is funded by an employment consultancy firm it predictably prattles on about how money isn't important. But ask most of those employed in the hospitality sector on the minimum wage and they'll give a different view.
The survey also is a wake-up call: Four out of 10 employees rate their managers' competency low over workplace systems, staff communications and recognition of good job performance.
The head of the Human Resources Institute happily informed the media that she wasn't surprised, as their own research backed up the survey's results. The Chambers of Commerce suggested that maybe the only thing that was needed for workers to feel the love was for their boss to give them a movie ticket, or if they really wanted to splash out they could give their favourite workers a meal voucher.
Good grief! That sums up perfectly where the institutions that represent employers in this country are in their thinking.
Obviously as a trade unionist, the problems that arrive on my desk come from rat-bag bosses who even their mothers couldn't defend. But my experience is that the lack of management, people skills and even common decency is more widely spread than anyone would have imagined even a few years ago.
I'm loath to say it but when there's a National Government some employers think they can get away with things that they wouldn't have done before.
Rather than take responsibility for treating staff well, employers successfully lobbied John Key to change the law so they could sack a new employee for any reason in their first three months. That achieves an employer's desired wish of having an apparently cowered and compliant workforce. But, as the survey has found, half of this country's employees are resentful and can't wait to quit.
Most employers genuinely believe they are good managers and that their employees like working for them.
More often than not I get quite the opposite reactions from their workers. And it's not just restricted to smaller employers who may lack professional capacity. That delusion goes all the way into our major corporations.
For example, not so long ago a new boss, when he was appointed, commissioned a staff survey that showed low levels of morale and trust. He promised things would change. Later surveys showed little change. The conclusion he made was the problem was the workers, not him or the company. So via a process of restructuring he managed to replace most of the previous staff. When the surveys continued to show low morale and distrust remained, he decided to just cancel the surveys. We met a few weeks ago and he thinks he's doing a great job with his employees.
I haven't got enough fingers to keep count of how many times situations like this happen. Unfortunately, in this country there is a widespread lazy attitude from managers when it comes to their responsibility to their employees.
Our acceptance of this practice infects adversely the entire fabric of our society.
The nonsensical responses from our employer organisations to a survey that shows half of the workforce wants to quit their jobs is depressing.
None of this will change until workers stop hoping the grass is greener with another employer. They need to talk to their current workmates, then collectively take their ideas to their boss on how to make their workplace better.
I imagine some bosses would welcome it. After all, everyone wants a happy workplace, right?