- Managers who can't resist making calls or even taking calls from their superiors while speaking to direct reports risk losing employees' trust and engagement, says Science Daily, citing the results of a new Baylor University study. Marketing professors James A. Roberts, Ph.D., and Meredith David, Ph.D., conclude in their published study that "boss phubbing," or boss phone snubbing, negatively affects manager-worker relationships. The study polled 413 employees and supervisors.
- Study results show that 76% of respondents surveyed lack trust in a manager who "phubbed" them. Of those surveyed, 75% experienced psychological losses in availability and safety; and the lack of trust resulting from respondents' psychological losses caused a 5% decrease in employee engagement.
- According to Science Daily, Roberts and David recommend that employers eliminate boss phubbing by creating a culture in which supervisors don't feel pressured to respond immediately to their superiors' calls when meeting with subordinates.
Smartphones, like most technologies, have made it easier for people to connect with each other, organize their lives and access information. But smartphones also have minimized the face-to-face time that remains essential to building trust among colleagues and between managers and employees.
A Harvard Business Review study found that employees who trust their managers tend to trust their organization's leaders. Employers whose priority is building and maintaining employee engagement can't afford to risk losing workers' trust through disrespectful conduct such as "phubbing." Superiors, however, must acknowledge their part in the problem. Asking bosses to constantly be on call creates a stressful work environment that makes it difficult for managers to actually manage their subordinates in a meaningful way.
Setting policies on smartphone use and cultivating a work environment that values undistracted face-to-face communication can help build the trust that's so vital between managers and employees.