Companies should give staff the opportunity to rate their managers' abilities in order to improve workers' health and wellbeing, a conference has been told.
Psychologists said that giving staff the chance to provide managers with feedback would lead to a "happy, healthy and stress-free" workforce.
The relationship between workers and their line managers was the most common cause of stress in the workplace, according to findings presented at the British Psychological Society's occupational psychology conference in Brighton.
A study of 150 managers and 500 workers by Emma Donaldson-Feilder, from Affinity Health At Work, found that when bosses received feedback from their staff, they were more likely to change their style and be seen as more effective.
Managers who did not receive any feedback were less likely to change their management behaviour, according to the research.
Ms Donaldson-Feilder said: "Stress is a significant cause of sickness absence and this puts pressure on those left behind to run the business, creating a cycle of uncomfortable pressure with costs to the individual and to the company."
Ms Donaldson-Feilder and her colleagues are developing a guide for businesses, including a questionnaire that staff can use to rate their line manager, which will be available later this year as free downloads on the Health & Safety Executive website.
Copyright © Press Association 2010
Related MiP articles:
Would you welcome feedback on your abilities from practice staff Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"I already get it as part of my appraisal anonymised 360 MSF. We have a reasonably happy team but am not sure exactly whether this has added to the good environment. I am informed by it rather than driven by the feedback. I have to see the whole picture (as well as the future of course) but certainly it is discussed at my appraisal. Certainly the staff are supportive of me and each other" – Name and address withheld
"Yes, as long as it was constructive and not a whingers' charter!" – Name and address withheld
"Yes, we already undertake 360-degree reviews on all staff within the practice. Self, Colleague and Manager evaluations, this helps with performance and areas for improvment" – Toni Gamblin, Derby