Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 9, 2024 ·  3 min read

A Bad Boss Can Make Their Employees Sick!

Working full time can take a lot out of you. Whether it’s because you’re sitting down for most of the day, working crazy shifts, or just not getting enough sleep, it can take a toll on your body. A lot of people focus on how their jobs can negatively impact their physical health (so they buy a standing desk, or make conscious efforts to break up their stare-at-a-screen time), but what about your mental health?

It turns out the biggest factor about your job that impacts your overall wellbeing isn’t actually about you… it’s about your boss!

You Boss Can Be the Biggest Source of Your Stress at Work

A study conducted by the American psychology Association found that 75% of people feel that their boss is the major cause of stress at work. It also found that, although they felt this way, 59% of them would not leave their job. Employees tend to get used to their work environment and settle, even though they are unhappy. It also lessens the amount of motivation they have to improve their situation in the workplace.

This seems like a typical problem that people face when in a workplace, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Research conducted at the Harvard Business School and Stanford University discovered that stress at work can be just as harmful to a person’s health as second-hand smoking! Employees who are in a stressful and demanding job are 50% more prone to health problems.

The main source of stress at work is the fear of losing their job and because their boss is often in charge of that, the stress begins to come from them. Work can be hard enough on its own; having an aggressive, hard to please, or angry boss can definitely make things more challenging. They are emotionally draining and will often create an unmotivated work environment that discourages the workplace. (1)

5 Tips on How To Motivate Your Employees and Be a Great Boss

As a boss, you are not only responsible for yourself, but a team. It’s important to keep those around you motivated to build a positive work environment that not only improves productivity but the mental health of the team.  (2) (3)

1. Be a Role Model

By being passionate and involved in your work you will not only be helping yourself but also your employees. Show them that you are excited to be there and also want to enjoy your time at work. Be positive and enthusiastic and others are sure to follow!

2. Reward and Encourage

Give feedback that not only improves their work but encourages them. If they do a good job let them know! Reward them when they exceed expectations to build confidence and motivate them to continue to do well.

3. Get to Know Your Team

Work not only as a team but with each individual person. Create personal goals with them and build a mentoring relationship. Get their opinions on the work environment and how they prefer to work. By spending the time with them individually you can create a better understanding of how they contribute to the team.

4. Promote a Work-Life Balance

Create fun initiatives to help motivate and boost the mood of the workplace. Let employees know that it’s ok to take vacation time and that you understand that they have a life outside of the workplace as well. It might even be a good idea to have “recognition rituals” when the team can come together. Have some fun and celebrate the hard work they people have contributed to the company.

5. Be Transparent

Build an open-door policy, be open to suggestions and ideas. Let them know that their voice matters. It’s also good to communicate with them, making sure that they also know what’s happening within the company. This builds trust and allows everyone to feel more involved with the company.  


A good boss is someone who is friendly and approachable. Employees shouldn’t fear but respect their boss, having a mutual understanding of each other. By following these tips and keeping a positive attitude in the workplace you will help lower the stress in the office and have a great time doing so!


  1. 2. OZIN, I. 14 Highly Effective Ways to Motivate EmployeesPozin, I. (2018). 14 Highly Effective Ways to Motivate Employees. [online] Inc.com. Available at: https://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/14-highly-effective-ways-to-motivate-employees.html
  2. 3.QUAST, L.Forbes Welcome Quast, L. (2018). Forbes Welcome. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2012/01/10/5-tips-for-motivating-employees/#47f2d2e439a0