As a veterinary practice owner, are you more of a sinner or a saint? Hopefully it’s the latter, because a deterioration of supervisor-employee trust has caused an increase in hostility in the U.S. workplace over the last several years, according to Florida State University researchers. To understand the relationship, Wayne Hochwarter, a business professor at Florida, asked more than 750 midlevel employees to report how often they experienced their direct supervisor’s seven deadly sins—wrath/anger, greed, laziness/sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony—on the job. Results indicate behaviors in excess of what many might expect:
Wrath: 26 percent of employees said their boss frequently had trouble managing his or her anger
Greed: 27 percent of employees said their boss vigorously pursued undeserved rewards
Laziness: 41 percent of employees said their boss habitually pushed work onto others rather than doing it himself or herself
Pride: 31 percent of employees said their boss regularly sought undeserved admiration from others at work
Lust: 33 percent of employees said their boss made sure that others stroked his or her ego on a daily basis
Jealousy: 19 percent of employees said their boss acted enviously toward others who experienced good things
Gluttony: 23 percent of employees said that their boss purposefully hoarded resources that could be useful to others at work.
Without question, researchers said, pride and laziness were the most frequently reported behaviors across genders, industry sectors, and levels of responsibility. Of little surprise: Results indicated a variety of negative employee outcomes associated with supervisors’ behavior, including impaired work productivity. Employees with leaders who committed these “sins” contributed 40 percent less effort on the job, were 66 percent less likely to make creative suggestions, and spent 75 percent more time at work pursuing alternative job opportunities.