Study: ‘Purposeful leadership’ is key for workplace motivation

Employees who respected their managers were found to be better performers, more satisfied with work and less likely to quit.

A University of Sussex study has found that workers are “happier and more productive when their leaders show strong morals, a clear vision and commitment to stakeholders.” The findings dovetail with the emerging trend of viewing “purposeful leadership” as a major workplace asset.

Researchers found that workers with “purposeful” managers were more satisfied with their jobs, less likely to quit and more willing to put in extra effort. They were even found to be less “cynical.”

University of Sussex professor Catherine Bailey, who helped guide the research, said:

Our study shows that the modern workplace is as much a battle for hearts and minds as it is one of rules and duties. People increasingly expect an organizational purpose that goes beyond a mere focus on the bottom line, beyond the kind of short-termist, financial imperatives that are blamed by many for causing the 2008 recession. In turn, they respond to leaders who care not just about themselves but wider society, who have strong morals and ethics, and who behave with purpose.

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