Researchers explore an easy way to boost performance at work

positive-energyIt’s probably not news to any of you that if you feel happy at work then you do better work.  A recent study draws a direct connection between the positive attitude of the leader and the behavior of the workforce.

For instance, the analysis revealed that those working for a positive boss were more likely to take on extra-curricular work, whilst also enjoying a better family life.

Relational energy

The researchers were looking specifically for what’s known as relational energy, which is the energy we get from people who make us feel good.  To measure the impact of this on the workforce, the researchers conducted a number of qualitative and quantitative studies within organizations.

It emerged that the more relational energy a leader gives off, the better the performance of their team on things such as their productivity, employee engagement scores and retention rates.  What’s more, the employees were also more likely to help one another out.

“Managers spend so much time managing information and influence,” the authors say. “But relational energy trumps both of those by a factor of four as an outcome determiner.”

What’s more, this influence doesn’t seem to be confined to employees work lives.  The researchers also found that their personal lives also seemed to receive a boost.

“There’s a spillover from relational energy at work to the home. When we interact with people, some buoy us up and others bring us down. When you’re buoyed up you tend to bring that home,” the authors say.

So what is relational energy?

It’s easy to confuse relational energy with something like charisma, but that isn’t the case.  Instead, it’s simply how people feel after interacting with you.

The researchers believe that tapping into this could be an easy and cost-effective way of improving performance in the workplace.  They advocate conducting a relational energy survey that will show who are the people who exude it rather than suck it from employees.

The first step however is to even appreciate its impact in the first place, which is something few organizations appear to do.

“Do people get promoted or hired because they’re a positive energizer? No, it’s not even on the agenda,” the authors say. “So here’s a resource that’s been ignored but is a major predictor of performance.”

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