According to a Leadership IQ study “Optimal Hours with the Boss,” most people spend only half the time they need with their boss. Employees who spend the optimal six hours interacting with their direct leader per week are 29 percent more inspired, 30 percent more engaged, 16 percent more innovative and 15 percent more intrinsically motivated than those who spend only one hour per week.
Believe it or not, though, more time is not necessarily better. When employees spend more than six hours per week interacting with their leaders, diminishing returns are seen in terms of building inspiration, engagement and motivation. The study showed that levels of inspiration or engagement remained the same or declined beyond six hours of interaction.
When I asked Leadership IQ CEO Mark Murphy about this curious finding, he said: “When you spend too much time with the boss, it starts to feel like micromanaging. People want a certain amount of boss time to get aligned, share concerns, ask questions, etc., but then they want to actually go put all of that information into practice.”
Email Doesn’t Take the Place of Face-to-Face
Among people who only spend an hour per week interacting with their leader, 33 percent of that time is face-to-face interaction and 42 percent is via email. By contrast, those who spend six hours per week interacting with their leader spend much more of their time (48 percent) in face-to-face interactions, and much less of their time (27 percent) interacting via email. So, not only is the amount of time spent interacting with one’s leader important, but increasing the percentage of face-to-face interaction matters as well.
For the rest of the post, check out the SilkRoad blog.