Aussies dissatisfied in the workplace due to unsupportive management

20 December, 2023

  • More than 1 in 5 (21%) of Australians claim they lack crucial support from management, resulting in overall dissatisfaction
  • The proportion of Australian workers receiving adequate mental health support has fallen by 10% since last year
  • 4 in 10 (41%) Australian workers believe their managers and colleagues lack the necessary skills to appropriately discuss mental health in the workplace

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – 20 DECEMBER 2023: New research claims some Australian workers are not satisfied with their average work day and point to a lack of support from management as the key factor.

A survey of over 1,400 Australian workers, conducted by leading HR and Payroll solutions provider ADP, revealed that 4 in 10 (41%) of discontented employees point to a poor relationship with their managers as the key reason for their dissatisfaction. It is evident that insufficient leadership is compromising the wellbeing of Australian workers.

Kylie Baullo, Managing Director ANZ at ADP, comments: “The findings highlight the need for organisations to potentially reconsider their approach to leadership and prioritise supportive work environments.

“A third of unhappy employees attribute their unhappiness primarily to a poor relationship with their managers, which underscores the pivotal role that effective leadership plays in the workplace.

An employer’s duties are vast and varied, however, a desire to create a more engaging work experience by addressing the factors behind workers’ dissatisfaction, such as work overload, stress, work relationships and greater responsibilities, is the first step in course-correcting existing activity and ensure employees feel valued.”

The absence of supportive management has significant consequences, especially with regards to employee morale. When it comes to management support in the workplace, the percentage of workers who feel supported by their managers has declined from 66% in 2021 to 56% in 2022.

Moreover, 4 in 10 of Australian employees do not believe their managers or colleagues are equipped to discuss mental health at work without judgement. More than a third (37%) of Australian workers also believe their job performance is suffering as a result of poor mental health.

Ms Baullo said, “Employers are under the microscope when it comes to providing support and guidance to staff but the good news is that it's certainly possible, and always room for improvement.

“For example, I am aware that recently there has been an increase in the number of employees asking managers to attend mental health training to address widespread anxiety and depression among Australian workers.

“In fact, not-for-profit Black Dog Institute reported a 34 per cent increase in bookings for mental health training workshops over the past financial year alone, showing more and more Australian leaders are seeing the importance in dedicating time to upskill and providing the resources needed to tackle mental health in the workplace.”

“Australian employers should consider prioritising their workers mental health by investing in training and resources that equip managers with the skills and knowledge to effectively address mental health concerns in the workplace”

“Innovation can play a key role in easing some of the stress, helping teams focus on work that matters. Looking at employing solutions that automate daily tasks, such as payroll administration, can be one of the ways managers have the opportunity to more closely support and collaborate with their employees,” added Ms. Baullo.


For more insights, please read the ‘People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View’ report.

About the research

ADP Research Institute® surveyed 32,612 workers in 17 countries around the world between 28 October and 18 November 2022 including over 8,613 working exclusively in the gig economy. This included:

  • 7,721 in Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India and Singapore)
  • 15,290 in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK)
  • 5,751 in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Chile)
  • 3,850 in North America (USA and Canada).

Within the worker sample gig workers and traditional workers were identified. Gig workers were identified as those who work on a contingent, temporary, or seasonal basis, or as a freelancer, independent contractor, consultant, gig worker, or use an online platform to source work. Traditional employees were identified as those who are not working in the gig economy and instead have a permanent full or part-time position.

The survey was conducted online in the local language. Overall results are weighted to represent the size of the working population for each country. Weightings are based on labour force data from the World Bank, which is derived using data from the ILOSTAT database, the central statistics database of the International Labour Organization (ILO), as of February 8, 2022.


Designing better ways to work through cutting-edge products, premium services and exceptional experiences that enable people to reach their full potential. HR, Talent, Benefits, Payroll and Compliance informed by data and designed for people. Learn more at

ADP and the ADP logo are registered trademarks of ADP, Inc.  All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2023 ADP, Inc. 

Media Contacts:

For more information, contact