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Bosses need appreciation, too

A new study suggests that when supervisors feel appreciated, it gives them a boost of energy and optimism. In the end, that's good for employees and the organization's bottom line.

Research indicates when people possess higher levels of resources, in this case, energy, they are better able to maintain a positive outlook and engage in positive behaviours at work. We know when supervisors have feelings of depletion -- or low energy -- negative things happen. For example, when bosses have low energy, they engage in more abusive supervision, creating worse workplaces for their employees

The study also found that feeling appreciated by employees was positively related, via energy, to supervisors' psychological well-being. Psychological well-being can buffer individuals from the negative effects of job stress.

Lessening job stress on employees can have a significant impact on a business's bottom line. The American Institute of Stress estimates that job stress cos U.S. industry more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal and insurance costs.

The study asked supervisors to respond to surveys twice a day for 10 consecutive workdays. Each day participants recorded how much they felt appreciated by their subordinates, how energetic they felt and how it affected them personally (sense of optimism and life satisfaction) and professionally (job satisfaction).

The study found that the external validation from feeling appreciated is especially powerful for those supervisors who lack a strong sense of validation from within.

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