The boss factor: Making the world a better place through workplace relationships

Viewed in McKinsey

One recurring theme of that has emerged during the Covid pandemic is the fact that employees are confronting unprecedented levels of stress.

Dealing with employee rising stress

It has emerged as a major challenge to executives and human resource managers: How to keep a company moving in generally the right direction while the world around it is facing a deadly, dangerous, and economically stagnating pandemic and its employees face new stresses.

The challenge confronting executives is magnified by the fact that the demands for productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement and satisfaction have not been reduced during the pandemic. In fact, in some respects they have become greater.

Management consulting giant McKinsey has released this very definitive and well researched study of over 27,000 employees on what executives at purpose-led companies can do to ensure employee satisfaction is sufficient and improving.

Interpersonal relationships

One conclusion they reached is that what satisfies an individual in life does not match up equally with what satisfies an employee on the job. Job satisfaction, McKinsey found, is driven largely by two factors. Thirty nine percent of respondents named on the job interpersonal relationships as the most important contributing factor to job satisfaction.

Interesting jobs

Slightly fewer, thirty five percent, named an “interesting job” as the most important factor.

Relationship with management

When it comes to what interpersonal relationships are viewed as most influential in driving employee satisfaction, respondents indicated overwhelmingly (86 percent) that their relationship with management was the most important.

This McKinsey study also looks at the correlation between employee satisfaction and various company performance metrics. The largest such correlation between the two was customer satisfaction.

Empathy, gratitude and positive feedback

But what can managers do to best align their managerial style with high levels of employee satisfaction?

Many of the same attributes that make a decent human being also add up to a good boss, this McKinsey report found. Empathy is important. So is gratitude. And managers who provide positive feedback, McKinsey finds, are associated with higher levels of overall employee satisfaction.

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