Compassionate managers may help reduce workplace tension

In a study of about 200 employees who had witnessed an angry outburst from another worker in the past, it was found that supervisors who reacted with compassion achieved better results overall than those who simply fired the hot-tempered individual, according to researchers at Temple University Fox School of Business.

The team of scientists theorized that managers who did not sanction the employee took actions to solve the initial problem, and took into consideration that they may have played a role in the worker’s anger.

“Some of the most transformational conversations come about through expressed anger,” said lead author Deanna Geddes.

She added that even one act of understanding on the part of a manager had potential to lead to reduced workplace stress.

These findings suggest that interventions like employee wellness programs may be the simple step needed to control aggression in the workplace. If workers are made to feel valued and given the appropriate tools and resources to manage stress, it may help reduce instances of outbursts and strengthen employee performance.

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