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Having Bad Boss Affects Family Happiness


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By Margarita Nahapetyan

According to new evidence, having a bad boss has an affect not only on physical and mental health of an employee, but can play a devastating role in general well-being of their family.

A study conducted by Dr. Nicolas Gillet and his fellow colleagues from Université François Rabelais in France, came to the conclusion that over-controlling managers and bosses who routinely use threatening methods as a way to motivate their employees, frustrate the basic elementary needs for autonomy, a sense of competence, as well as how individuals relate to other people, be it their colleagues or family members for that matter. This, in turn, is more likely to have a negative impact on the general well-being of the employees.

In spite of the fact that these new findings of the research may not be surprising at all for many, it is apparently the first ever study to provide us with evidence in regards to mediating role of much needed satisfaction when it comes to strengthening relationships between perceptions of a manager's inter-personal style and a worker's well-being.

In many cases, an employee may anytime fall ill so badly that he or she can even be at risk of suffering a heart attack. According to one study conducted in Sweden, the more employees feel that their manager or supervisor is incompetent, the higher is their chance of having a heart attack. Jo Lamble, Clinical Psychologist and a principal investigator of the Swedish study, said that many of her patients were suffering as a result of manager's bullying at workplace. Patients showed all the signs of stress, such as problems with sleep and irritability. Other problems included poor concentration and decision making, drug and alcohol abuse, loss of confidence and anger.

Not only having a bad manager can have an impact on well-being of employees, but it can also affect the general well-being of their families, found a recent research that came from Baylor University (published in the journal Personnel Psychology). It was revealed that the stress and tension caused by an abusive supervisor at workplace filters through to a worker's personal life at home.

Dr. Dawn Carlson, Professor of Management and the author of this research, said that their findings demonstrate how the job incumbent carries that over to the family through greater job-family tension and by experiencing more relationship problems with a spouse. As a result, it all turns to have a negative effect on the family as the job incumbent is more tense and unable to engage fully in the personal and family life.

People who have a job spend so much time at workplace, so if work is not pleasant, then it will have an impact on mood and can make any person irritable and intolerant once he/she goes home, Jo Lamble said. Many employees who work for a bad supervisor or manager will feel a strong need to talk about it when they get home, which can become very frustrating and tiresome for the family members who start wishing the conversation was about anything else, the expert concluded.

The study is published in the Journal of Business and Psychology.

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