Does Kindness Build Retention and Employee Engagement?


If you feel that your boss is kind, chances are you look forward
to going to work every day, you’re more likely to put in a little
extra effort, and you might even delay that search for a new job. But
if you work for a boss who is a bully, all bets are off. That’s
according to a new survey conducted by American Management Association
(AMA) that examines how a boss’s character affects employee
performance and retention rates.

AMA surveyed 662 members and customers on a number of workplace
issues and character traits. First the good news: 75% of respondents
regarded their supervisors as “kind.” Now the bad news: 14% of
respondents indicated that their supervisors were, in fact, “bullies.”
The remaining 11% were neutral about their boss’s character. According
to the survey results, kind managers are associated with superior
performance in a number of ways.

“The AMA survey clearly shows how employee-manager relationships
influence performance, productivity and even bottom-line results,”
said Edward T. Reilly, president and CEO of American Management
Association. “It’s the law of reciprocity: When a manager shows
concern, his or her employees, in turn, support the manager. They do
this by putting forth a maximum effort, being more dedicated to the
organization, and by helping to achieve corporate goals.”

The AMA survey asked respondents if they plan to work for their
company for a long time. According to the results, 84% of employees
who report to kind managers said yes, whereas only 47% of employees
who report to bullies agreed. Similarly, when asked if respondents
look forward to going to work every day, 74% of employees with kind
bosses said yes, while only 32% of employees with bullies as bosses

To see full study click here.

4 responses to “Does Kindness Build Retention and Employee Engagement?

  1. Derek,
    I give a hearty Amen! People want to be appreciated for their contribution and effort at work. It is amazing to me that a kind attitude and showing external appreciation has to be a strategy for a company instead of the norm.

  2. Excellent information. Thank you for posting. It is true that simple “thank you” goes a long way in boosting morale and increasing productivity. But it is equally true, and saddening, how many managers miss this point. Encouraging a culture of appreciation is a much more effective culture for success than one of intimidation and fear.

  3. Doug – thanks for passing the info along. AMA does excellent work.

  4. AMA also has a free on-demand webcast on leading with kindness:

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