Could Hitting the Gym Make You a Better Boss?

Could Hitting the Gym Make You a Better Boss?

As a manager you have a high-stress job. From dealing with productivity issues and performance problems to hiring and firing employees, your work is never done…and it could cause you a great deal of stress in your life. As a result, it’s not uncommon for managers to misdirect that anxiety toward employees, becoming abusive in the worst cases.

So is there an easy answer to avoid becoming one of those “toxic bosses”?  

According to a recent study, there is. Published in the Journal of Business & Psychology, a study from Northern Illinois University found that bosses who work out are typically less abusive toward their employees. Researchers involved asked 98 employed M.B.A. students to rate their boss’s behavior (for instance, asking questions about whether their boss put them down in front of others); they also asked the 98 bosses to complete a survey about their exercise habits, levels of stress, and amount of free time.

Not surprisingly, the results showed that employees rate stressed supervisors as more abusive. The research also revealed that moderate levels of exercise minimized nasty behavior towards employees, even as those bosses remained stressed. According to the study, the kind of exercise the bosses engaged in didn’t matter, whether it was running, biking, weightlifting or yoga; just that the bosses exercised one or two days a week.

Obviously extreme cases of workplace bullying can’t be fixed at the gym. However, if you’re a boss who’s under a lot of pressure and misdirecting that stress onto your employees, then a few hours of exercise each week certainly couldn’t hurt. In fact, exercise is known to help people cope with stress by improving their mood and lowering their anxiety.

And if part of your stress is coming from staffing issues at work, let us know. We can help. Over the past 20 years, our staffing agency has successfully placed more than 150,000 people in temporary and full-time positions. Learn more about our patented, 6-step hiring process, which can ensure you get the best fit candidate.