Posts Tagged ‘Sheffield University’

From C. 1998: ‘Firms Profit From a Happy Workforce’

July 18, 2020

I used to collect news clipping of anything interesting, usually about history, politics, art and the paranormal. I stopped years ago as they were starting to take up too much space, but I’ve still got scrapbooks full of them. I was going through a few of them last night, and I found some very interesting old news stories that are still very relevant today.

I don’t have a precise date or know which newspaper this article was published in, but the articles around it come from 1998 and many of them are from the Fail, so I would hazard a guess that’s where it came from. The article’s a demolition of the ‘macho management’ style favoured in the 1980s, when the boss would start the date by haranguing and humiliating his staff. The article shows that not only does this not work, it actually reduces profitability. The clip runs

Ranting bosses who leave their workers feeling resentful are literally costing their companies money, new research shows.

A team from Sheffield University established a direct link between profitability and happiness after questioning 5,000 employees at 42 British manufacturing firms.

They found that companies which were performing best were those which avoided aggressive management styles, made sure their staff were never bored and allowed them to feel they had a stake in the firm’s performance.

Research leader Malcolm Patterson said: “It appears that a happy workforce is a more productive workforce. It is a simple message to bosses, but backed up with hard evidence.”

My guess is that research today would also show that firms that have good working conditions and high pay are also more productive than low wage, exploitative sweatshops. And I’ve no doubt that one of the reasons British productivity has actually fallen is because people are generally more miserable because of low wages, long hours, job insecurity and the lack of a proper welfare state.

But these are all things that the Tories and the captains of industry hate and despise as attacks on their profitability and status, so they will continue making employment as harsh and exploitative as they can get away with.