If you employ people in your massage practice, it might be helpful—to your employees and your bottom line—to take a look at your management style.

The way employees feel, or their well-being, can account for more than a quarter of the differences observed in individuals’ performance at work, according to a press release from Springer, which published new research on this topic. “Workplace well-being is therefore receiving increasing attention as it may have economic implications for the organization if workers are underperforming,” the press release noted.

Over-controlling managers who use threats as a way to motivate employees, and organizations that do not appear to value individuals’ contributions, both frustrate employees’ basic needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness, or how employees relate to others, the press release noted. This, in turn, is likely to have a negative impact on employees’ well-being at work.

The authors looked at the impact of perceived organizational support, meaning the extent to which the organization values workers’ contributions, and supervisors’ interpersonal style, either supportive towards subordinates’ autonomy or controlling their behavior, on workers’ well-being, according to the press release.

“They carried out two experiments on 468 and 650 workers respectively, from a combination of small, medium and large French companies,” the press released noted. “Participants filled in questionnaires asking them about their perceptions of their supervisors’ management style, as well as the extent to which they felt that their organization supported them.”

The more employees felt that their supervisor supported their autonomy, the more their needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness were met and the happier and more satisfied they were, according to the press release.

The same was true with greater perceived organizational support. Equally, when supervisors behaved in a coercive, pressuring and authoritarian way, or organizations were perceived as unsupportive, workers’ needs were thwarted and they experienced lower levels of well-being.

“To satisfy employees’ needs, supervisors should provide subordinates with options rather than use threats and deadlines, a strategy which could improve their workforce’s well-being,” the researchers said

The study was conducted by Nicolas Gillet, P.D., of the Université François Rabelais in Tours in France, and his team and was published online in Springer’s Journal of Business and Psychology.

Related articles:

U.S. and Canadian Workplace Stress is a “Growing Health Hazard”

Happy Employees Mean Healthier Companies