Tory Johnson: A Holiday for the Boss?

Today is National Boss's Day, which was started in 1958 by Patricia Bays Haroski, an Illinois secretary who wanted to show appreciation for her boss and improve professional relationships between employees and their managers.

She chose Oct. 16 because it was her father's birthday. Haroski thought he was an exceptional boss.

Cynics have long wondered whether Haroski was the ultimate suck up, proposing a day to celebrate the decision-makers who sign the paychecks.

Others have thought that perhaps she was a brilliant guru in workplace relationships, one who recognized that managers often have thankless jobs for which they're frequently blamed and rarely praised.

Or, maybe Haroski was looking for a way to help Hallmark make some extra cash.

According to the greeting-card giant's Web site, the company now offers 47 Boss's Day cards, ranging from professional to humorous.

The goal? To express "appreciation for the ways bosses manage people, respect for their handling tough workloads, and gratitude for the coaching they provide."

Plenty of Cards, but No One Wants to Send Them

But it's unclear just how many of those cards will actually be sent.

In various surveys, almost half of all workers said they'd fire their bosses if they could.

And in a new survey of more than 900 employees conducted by DDI, a global human-resources consulting firm, workers said if they could give their boss a character trait this Boss's Day, they'd wrap up "trust in employees," "honesty and integrity," and "team-building skills."

In good times and bad, great bosses are fair and honest, and communicate openly with their direct reports.

They demonstrate faith in their team and support them with the knowledge, tools and motivation. And when the team delivers, great bosses offer praise and recognition for strong results.

No boss can be perfect, but if you have a manager who consistently meets these criteria, he or she deserves a nod of thanks and appreciation on this day.

And if not, perhaps there's a "how-to" card in Hallmark's collection that's got your boss' name all over it -- you could interoffice it anonymously.