Articles | How you get along with your manager can shape your hea






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How you get along with your manager can shape your health, happiness, and productivity

How you get along with your manager can shape your health, happiness, and productivity






Every business wants to do well, both in society and in its bottom line. And one of the most important factors is the boss factor.

The boss factor is the fact that bosses have an enormous influence on workers’ well-being through their relationships. People’s job satisfaction has an enormous influence on their overall life satisfaction. Things like health and mental health are obviously important for whether somebody’s happy in their lives. After that, the second most important thing is whether they’re happy in their job. And there, the most important factor is their relationship with their boss. Bosses have a huge influence—not just on the financial performance of businesses but also on the well-being of the workers, and hence, the business’s societal impact.

On one hand, your relationship with your boss is by far the most important thing in terms of your job satisfaction. But more than 70 percent of people say that spending time with their boss is the most stressful time of the entire working week. There is clearly room for improvement here.

There are a lot of very good bosses, and then there are a lot of very bad bosses. And even the very good bosses don’t necessarily realise that their impact on the people who work with them goes well beyond the business. The impact bosses have inside the workplace bleeds into a person’s overall life satisfaction.

If you have good bosses, then you’re more likely to be a good boss yourself. That’s because you see that as the role model and recognise that that’s what is expected and appreciated in your firm. You also personally feel the effects of having a nice boss, a boss who empathises with you and cares about you as a person.

The characteristics that tend to get you promoted are not necessarily the kind of characteristics that might go with being a good servant leader. But generally speaking, people who tend to get promoted are quite self-centred and very focused on their individual performance. They are also very good at articulating their own point of view and perhaps not what servant leaders really do. Servant leaders provide a platform for their employees to provide their best work—really praising them and supporting them, rather than elevating themselves.

That is enormously important for building trust and creating a place where people feel safe to be innovative, to raise issues when the business is not going great, to come up with new ideas, to be change-ready. Empathy is really critical. The other thing to practice is thanking people for everything all the time. Even if it’s something quite small that they did, they deserve thanks for it—even if it’s something that’s part of their job.

There’s a lot of research suggesting that celebrating really small steps is critical to people reaching big goals. It’s an important way of enhancing well-being, satisfaction, and happiness in the team.

The more autonomous people feel and the more trusted they feel to get on with their work, the more empowered and happier they are not only in their jobs but also in their lives.

Happier employees are more productive, more engaged, and more loyal. They generate better customer loyalty and are less likely to leave. All of these positive feedback loops mean that it’s a win–win. The vast majority of somebody’s job satisfaction is really about how employees perceive their relationship with their boss. You would think that it could be things like pay or how exciting or interesting or important their job is. But actually, the biggest impact is from their relationship with their boss, even if what they’re doing is a pretty mundane job.

How can we, as individual team members, help our bosses be better? Since we seem to be unhappy, how can we basically make this situation more palatable?

Not everybody’s unhappy, but there’s definitely room for improvement in most organisations. It’s kind of the same thing in some ways but in reverse. It’s all about relationships. And how you build a good relationship with your employees is pretty much the same as how you would build a good relationship with your boss: accepting that they’re human. Understanding that they will occasionally be stressed out. Recognising and empathising with the pressures they’re under. And building that kind of trust-based communication that allows you to understand what’s going on with them, and perhaps invites them to ask what’s going on with you.

If you want to be empowered and you want to be given a role that’s autonomous, then you do need to show that you can be trusted. You need to be reliable. You need to do what you promised you would do and create a mutual recognition—and that would be a win–win, both for the boss and the employee.

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