Each one of us has a different management style. As part of the management team, it is presumed that our decisions must always be for the best interest of the company. What sort of motivation should be adopted is an age-old question even for best managers out there.
"Is it better to be a nice leader to get your staff to like you? Or to be tough as nails to inspire respect and hard work? Despite the recent enthusiasm for wellness initiatives like mindfulness and meditation at the office, and despite the movement toward more horizontal organizational charts, most people still assume the latter is best," writes Emma Seppala of the Harvard Business Review.
"The traditional paradigm just seems safer: be firm and a little distant from your employees. The people who work for you should respect you, but not feel so familiar with you that they might forget whos in charge. A little dog-eat-dog, tough-it-out, sink-or-swim culture seems to yield time-tested results and keep people hungry and on their toes. After all, if youre a leader who seems like you care a little too much about your employees, wont that make you look soft? Wont that mean you will be less respected? That employees will work less hard?", asked Seppala.
According to the Harvard Business Review, new developments in organizational research are providing some surprising answers to these questions. Tough managers often mistakenly think that putting pressure on employees will increase performance. What it does increase is stress and research has shown that high levels of stress carry a number of costs to employers and employees alike. Stress brings high health care and turnover costs. In a study of employees from various organizations, health care expenditures for employees with high levels of stress were 46 percent greater than at similar organizations without high levels of stress. In particular, workplace stress has been linked in both retrospective (observing past patterns) and prospective (predicting future patterns) studies. Then theres the impact on turnover: research shows that workplace stress can lead them to look for a new job, decline a promotion, or leave a job. Is it any better with nice managers? Do their employees fare better and do kind bosses get ahead? Contrary to what many believe, Adam Grants data shows that nice guys (and gals!) can actually finish first, as long as they use the right strategies that prevent others from taking advantage of them. In fact, other research has shown that acts of altruism actually increase someone's status within a group.
"In fact, what may come as a surprise to many HR directors, employees prefer happiness to high pay as Gallups 2013 Workplace Poll shows. In turn, happier employees make not only for a more congenial workplace, but also for improved collegiality and customer service. A large healthcare study showed that a kind culture at work not only improved employee well-being and productivity but also improved client health outcomes and satisfaction. Taken together, this body of research shows that creating a leadership model of trust and mutual cooperation may help create a culture that is happier, in which employees help each other, and (as a consequence) become more productive in the long run."
"No wonder their nice bosses get promoted," Seppala concluded.