A Manager’s Job Is Making Sure Employees Have a Life Outside Work
March 30, 2016
In their article, Arjun Dev Arora and Raman Frey discuss the importance of seeing employees thrive both in and out of the workplace. Instead of being penalized for needing time to process a difficult life change or illness — or even to attend a child’s soccer game — managers should encourage taking the time to have a rich life outside of the cube.
They have found that encouraging employees to be creative and independent — not obedient soldiers taking orders down the chain of command — makes everyone feel like they have a stake in a positive outcome. Recent research backs this up.
A study from the University of Michigan shows that employees thrive when working in an atmosphere that is “positive and virtuous,” including being treated with respect and compassion, as well as being appreciated for the value for their contributions. Kindness can reinforce competence and lead to greater success.
People who are treated kindly and with respect literally operate more from their pre-frontal cortex, associated with nuanced decision making, creativity and abstract thinking, rather than their amygdala, associated with the fight or flight response.
Fear is not the same as respect, and kindness is not the inverse of competence. People who believe their work truly benefits others and who are treated with respect in the workplace simply produce better results.