Written by Lisa Evans.
During a late-night TV binge, I landed on Hell’s Kitchen. Watching celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay spit out fiery insults at his apprentice chefs—a tactic he justified as helping them to improve their skills in the kitchen—I laughed at the absurdity of his comments.
Then I was struck by a terrifying thought. Is this really how some bosses motivate their staff? Ramsay’s tactics certainly make for entertaining television, but here in the real world, there’s mounting evidence to show the tough-boss approach is not the way to achieve results.
With more research showing the negative impact of stress in the workplace—such as bringing down employee morale; causing physical health issues, including high blood pressure and lower immune function; and resulting in high employee turnover—a shift away from the carrot-stick approach of the past and toward a culture of kindness may be what’s needed to succeed.
Emma Seppala, associate director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, says compassionate workplaces are not only good for employees’ mental and physical health, but for a company’s bottom line.
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