No doubt, strong employee-boss relationships help drive a successful business. And employees who regularly spend time with their manager benefit from strong communication, collaboration and insight. But here’s the million-dollar question:
Could employees spend too much time with their higher-ups?
The answer is yes, according to a study by leadership and training firm Leadership IQ.
The firm conducted a massive survey of 32,410 American and Canadian executives, managers and employees to determine how many hours per week employees should be spending with their direct leader.
It found workers who spend too much time with their bosses will often experience a drop in productivity, engagement and innovation.
What’s the cutoff?
The study said that employees should ideally spend six hours each week with their bosses. Three hours or less isn’t nearly enough, and much more than six starts to become counterproductive.
For example, any more than six hours sends the message to the employee that the boss:
- doesn’t trust the employee to do his or her job
- has a tendency to micromanage his employees
- isn’t willing to let the employee grow in his or her role and further develop valuable skills, and
- believes the employee might not be the right person for the job.
Bottom line: If a manager has to spend much more than six hours per week with an employee, than you’ve hired the wrong person.
Although it’s understandably tempting for managers to keep new hires close, doing so for a prolonged period of time won’t let them grow — and is sure to send them packing before too long.
First thing to do
Now it’s time to assess what’s happening at your company.
Sit down with your management team and find out how much time they spend with subordinates each week. If it’s more than six hours, try to find ways to bring that number down.
Remind them that more time spent with employees isn’t always better.