A management body has warned employers to be more positive in their treatment of staff after new research revealed only 10% of workers felt their bosses were accessible.
According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the majority of workers described their managers as secretive, authoritarian and bureaucratic.
The survey involved 500 staff; a third of whom said they would prefer to have Conservative leader David Cameron as their manager, with a fifth opting for Gordon Brown or Nick Clegg.
The CMI said the country's struggling economy was being jeopardised by the "dominant" style of managers.
Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the CMI, said: "It is an embarrassment for the UK that over half of companies' management style is seen to be negative by the people that know them best – their employees.
"In case bosses think this doesn't matter as long as they are turning a profit, think again. Goodwill and engagement among employees doesn't only improve people's working lives but it adds to the bottom line – in productivity, retention rates and customer loyalty.
"Negativity breeds negativity and if we are serious about pushing the UK towards economic recovery, we need more businesses that are innovative, accessible and empowering."
The CMI launched an online guide for managers, offering advice as well as information about their strengths.