Workers Spend 19 Hours a Week Worrying About Words and Actions of Bosses: Survey

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U.S. employees spend 19.2 hours a week--13 hours during the work week and 6.2 hours on the weekend--worrying about "what a boss says or does," according to a new survey.

Conducted by "an independent global research firm" commissioned by Santa Monica-based Lynn Taylor Consulting, the study was apparently based on telephone interviews conducted with 1,000 respondents, 18 years of age or older, in the U.S.

"The study illustrates the tremendous drain that a manager's words and actions can have on the minds and work product of its most valued asset--people--at a time when companies can least afford the loss," according to "national workplace expert" Lynn Taylor. "Particularly during this period of high unemployment, bad boss behavior can go into overdrive--distracting employees from the work at hand."

The spillover anxiety on weekends underscores how critical the boss/employee dynamic truly is, according to Taylor, whose firm offers workshops on how to humanize the workplace for increased productivity and profitability. Surprisingly, the study Taylor commissioned "suggests that greater interpersonal sensitivity can significantly boost morale and help a company thrive." Amazing!

"Employees should take the initiative in 2010 to build their own human relations skills," Taylor says. "Tackle issues early on with diplomacy and deploy good 'parenting skills' in the office--without patronizing. Use positive and negative reinforcement; provide positive role modeling; humor; and set limits to unreasonable demands with tact, showing the benefits of an alternative compromise."

The author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant™(TOT); How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job (John Wiley & Sons, July 2009) advises managers to go the extra mile by showing interest in the team's well-being.

"Employees' careers are not on hold," she says, "even if major corporate initiatives are."

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