Want to make your employees happier? A little kindness and compassion go a long way, new research suggests.
According to a study presented at the recent British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology annual conference, 80 percent of the managers surveyed think leaders and managers should be taught how to be more compassionate and considerate, and genuinely care for subordinates.
Fiona Beddoes-Jones, the study's author and a senior lecturer at the University of Worcester in the United Kingdom, said employees want clarity from a logical and pragmatic manager, but they also what to feel that their boss and employer genuinely care about them. She said that is often what is missing in today's workplace. [See Related Story: The Biggest Challenge You'll Face as a First Time Boss]
"In the drive for performance management the human touch gets overlooked," Beddoes-Jones said in statement. "And as they say, people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."
The research, however, revealed somewhat of a disconnect in the type of environment employees want to work in and the management style of their boss. Specifically, 70 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer a "collaborative and supportive" working environment; however, only 26 percent said that they wanted a manager who was "nurturing and kind" or "unconditionally supportive."
Beddoes-Jones believes this is an area that needs further exploration. She said this conceptualization of modern love in the workplace and the potential organizational implications for engagement, motivation, productivity and well-being have not yet been fully embraced or explored by psychologists.
The study was based on surveys of more than 300 managers and leaders recruited via a number of business social media groups, 90 percent of whom worked within the U.K.