Want a successful business? Then be MEAN

Kind bosses are more stressed and likely to burn out, claim psychologists
Overseeing every workplace decision for equality and fairness can be a draining experience for senior executives, the study found
Those suffering the most fatigue were more likely to make mistakes at work and were more likely to engage in ‘deviant’ behaviour, such as theft

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Tough bosses could be better for firms than those who try too hard to be fair to workers, according to psychologists.
Sticking to equality rules can put so much stress on a manager it burns them out and lead to them stealing and cheating, said the study.

Overseeing every workplace decision for equality and fairness can be a draining experience for senior executives, said the Journal of Applied Psychology. Researchers from the Michigan State University monitored 82 bosses twice a day over a period of several weeks and recorded their emotional state and their workplace efficiency.

All of them had to deal with cases of fairness at work – or procedural justice – where, for instance, a worker claims discrimination over not being promoted. Some found it more mentally tiring that others because they had to suppress their own personal bias and being consistent even if it went against their natural instincts. Those suffering the most mental fatigue were then more likely to make mistakes at work the following day and increase the likelihood of ‘deviant’ behaviour, such as stealing.

Research leader Professor Russell Johnson said: ‘The act of carefully monitoring the fairness of workplace decisions wears down supervisors mentally and emotionally. Overseeing every workplace decision for equality and fairness can be a draining experience for senior executives, the study found. Those suffering the most mental fatigue were then more likely to make mistakes at work the following day and increase the likelihood of ‘deviant’ behaviour, such as stealing

‘Managers who are mentally fatigued are more prone to making mistakes and it is more difficult for them to control deviant or counterproductive impulses. ‘Several studies have even found that mentally fatigued employees are more likely to steal and cheat.’
Workplace fairness rules can be beneficial to workers and organisations in general, he said, but not to those bosses who try too hard to make sure everyone is happy.

He added: ‘Managers who are fair cannot realistically avoid some burnout.’
Tips to help bosses deal with the stress include making sure they get enough sleep, eating healthily and detaching themselves from work when they get home, such as not taking calls or emails after a certain time of day, he said.

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This entry was posted in Bullying, Corruption, Culture, Discrimination, Education, Equality, Fashion, Health and Wellbeing, Management, Psychology, Women in Business and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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