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Carpeted offices, white collars and the aura of authority

Do you take your boss for granted?

Appreciating a good boss is just as important as helping employees do a good job. Isn't it?

July 30, 2013 3:15 by

Is pursuing your self-interest almost a reflex action? Does your mind constantly, and sometimes, subconsciously seek out your benefits?

We live in the corporate world; the concrete cities where large carpeted offices, crisp white collars, and organised desks diffuse an aura of authority. Authority ensures efficiency, but does the resulting efficiency foster appreciation? Not always.

A study recently conducted by the reputed Switzerland-based business school, IMD, in collaboration with University College London suggests that managers who help employees with work and personal problems should not expect gratitude, loyalty, and commitment in return.

The study revealed that managers expect greater commitment from employees, and feel disappointed and frustrated with the lack of appreciation by their staff, despite helping them during difficult times.

Professor Anand Narasimhan of IMD explained that although some managers believed that helping employees to deal with negativity would eventually benefit sales and profit, others offered their employees help with hopes of gaining recognition from them and their superiors.

In the cutthroat corporate world, where managers are responsible for churning work efficiently from their employees, it is undeniably a blessing to have a caring boss.

Frederick Taylor would, however, disagree; the first management consultant who pioneered ‘scientific management’ believed that a rigid managerial system was best suited for making employees work efficiently.

“It is only through enforced standardisation of methods, enforced adoption of the best implements and working conditions, and enforced co-operation that faster work can be assured,” he says.

Appreciating a good boss is just as important as helping employees do a good job. However, should the lack of appreciation be a justification for the negative treatment of employees by managers? And likewise, is it rational of employees to automatically expect their managers to be helpful without reciprocating the same?

I think there should be a sensitive balance with equal weights on both sides, to fulfil the ‘self-interests’ that managers and employees seek — efficient work.

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