Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why It Does Not Pay to Work for (or Be) an Asshole Boss

I'm sure a lot of us have this notion that being an ass and financial success go hand in hand. I personally know at least a couple of highly accomplished executives and business persons who get away with "conduct unbecoming of a gentleman" either because people believe that bad behavior is a key ingredient of success, or that successful people are simply entitled to occasional bouts of temper tantrums and acts of boorishness. Regardless of how the misguided majority regard the behavior of "bad bosses," I have always had this firm belief that there is rarely a valid excuse for shouting at or humiliating a subordinate or employee. So I guess this recent study which shows how the bad behavior of bosses negatively impact the lives of all involved just proves my point.

The study specifically demonstrates that YES, the more negatively bosses acted towards their employees, the less happy these employees were. Also, when bosses were controlling rather than encouraging, employee well-being was low. On the other hand, the overall well-being of employees was better when they felt that their autonomy was encouraged. In summary, we can tell from these results that employee happiness and well-being are significantly affected by the management style of the boss, and that this places an additional toll on the already limited monetary and non-monetary benefits that the typical rank and file gets from the job.

Overall these findings may not be very surprising, but that does not make them any less important. If you're an employee who works for an asshole boss, you now have scientifically-backed reasons to look for another job soon. If you're the asshole boss, do you really think whatever satisfaction you get from being an ass is worth the cost to your employees and organization?

via The Atlantic

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