WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2020 — Feeling appreciated by their employees is good for bosses and their companies, according to a new study.
It included 79 supervisors who, twice a day for 10 consecutive workdays, recorded how much they felt appreciated by their staff, and how that affected their energy levels, job satisfaction, sense of optimism and life satisfaction.
“On days supervisors felt more appreciated, they had more energy, and this translated into higher levels of optimism, life satisfaction, job satisfaction and helping,” said study co-author Maureen Ambrose, professor of business ethics at University of Central Florida.
“This was interesting because our field hasn’t connected feeling appreciated to higher energy, and we typically look at how supervisors can boost the resources of subordinates — not the other way around,” she said in a university news release.
Researchers also found that feeling appreciated by workers had an especially strong effect on supervisors with weak self-validation.
The findings were recently published in the Journal of Management.
“Based on theory, we knew feeling appreciated by another person sends a strong signal that you are positively regarded, and feelings of positive regard evoke a sense of vigor — or high energy,” said Ambrose, who conducted the study with Sharon Sheridan from Clemson University.
She said this is important because research suggests that when people have more energy, they are better able to maintain a positive outlook and engage in positive behaviors at work. On the other hand, when bosses have low energy, they engage in more abusive supervision, creating worse workplaces for employees.
The authors said they hope their research leads to closer examination of gratitude and appreciation in the workplace and how employees affect supervisors.
“Anyone who has managed people knows how influential the relationships with subordinates can be,” Ambrose said. “Taking this upwards perspective may help us better understand supervisors’ lived experiences at work and why they do the things they do.”
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Posted: December 2020