44% of bosses in Scotland see their staff as friends rather than colleagues compared to 42 and 40% in the North West and East.
The figure falls to 36% in the Midlands and just 28 in London and the South East.
The survey of 250 MDs at small and medium sized enterprises by Right Management, which is part of Manpower, found two thirds of bosses cite redundancy as their top HR concern, although 72% say that they spend too long on HR.
Jayne Carrington, Right Management’s MD, called for greater support from government for SMEs, "It is essential that SMEs thrive for the sake of the UK economy.
"Managing Directors are worried about losing top talent but just over half favour motivating staff through incentives rather than career development. Providing career progression and development opportunities will ensure they retain talent and build a committed and engaged team to drive business growth."