Best to Be Honest About Your Relationship With Your Boss

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Nov. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Your job performance will be better if you and your boss have the same opinion about your relationship, even if it's a bad one, a new study finds.

Researchers interviewed 280 employees and their bosses separately so that neither knew what the other said. The workers ranged from cashiers to senior managers in a number of industries, including automotive, retail and financial services.

The researchers found that employees were less motivated at work when they believed they had a good relationship with their boss, but the boss had a different opinion, or if the reverse was true.

Worker motivation was higher when the employee and boss had the same opinion about their relationship, even if it was poor, said the study published recently in the Academy of Management Journal.

"Seeing eye-to-eye about the employee-supervisor relationship is equally, if not more, important than the actual quality of the relationship," lead investigator Fadel Matta, a management researcher at Michigan State University's College of Business, said in a university news release.

"Some people would say it's better to fake it, but our results indicate that the opposite is true," Matta said. "At the end of the day, it's better for everyone to know where they stand and how they feel about each other."

More information

The American Psychological Association offers tips for dealing with difficult bosses.