The way to keeping lower-level employees happy is to keep middle managers happy, according to a new Vanderbilt University study.
“Middle managers’ treatment of employees reflects how bosses treat them,” said Ray Friedman, Brownlee O. Currey Professor of Management at Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.
The researchers studied 1,527 full-time employees at 94 hotels in the U.S. and Canada and found that middle managers’ satisfaction with their supervisors was related in line to workers’ satisfaction with middle managers.
“If an organization wishes to address issues related to line employees’ work attitudes, it should address behavior and work attitudes from the top down.” Friedman said. “The focus should not just be on employees and their managers, but also on the signals being sent by senior managers every day as they interact with their middle-level manager subordinates.”
It’s imperative that middle managers have a good working relationship with their supervisors, because the effects trickle down to the lower-level employees.
“Despite the lack of direct contact between senior managers and line employees, senior managers can have a significant influence on those line employees,” Friedman said.
Friedman talks more about the study’s findings in the above video.