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Why you should spend 6 hours a week with each employee

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As a boss, you’re not expected to spend all your time engaging with each and every direct report – but spending less than six hours a week with each employee may have an adverse effect on staff performance.

A survey of 32,000 people from Leadership IQ found those who spent six hours a week interacting with their direct leader were 29% more inspired, 16% more innovative, 5% more  intrinsically motivated and 30% more engaged than their peers who spent just an hour with the boss.

The report also revealed middle managers and executives needed even more time with their direct leaders. Middle managers were most inspired after spending nine to 10 hours a week interacting with their bosses, while executives needed seven to eight hours.

But Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, cautioned there can be too much of a good thing.

“There was some drop-off in inspiration, engagement, innovation and intrinsic motivation once people reported spending 10, 15, 20 hours per week interacting with their leader,” he said.

In those cases, levels of inspiration, innovation, intrinsic motivation and engagement remained the same or declined beyond six hours of interaction.

However, despite these figures, more than half the respondents said they spend three hours or less with their leaders, and only 30% reporting they spent six or more hours.

“There are many ways that people communicate with their leaders; face-to-face, email, phone, video conferencing, texting, social media, and more. But notwithstanding our present technological age, face-to-face and email communication are by far the most common ways that people interact with their leader,” the report said.

Those who spend just an hour a week interacting with their bosses preferred to do so via email (42%) and face-to-face (33%). On the flip side, employees who spent six hours a week were more inclined towards face-to-face interactions (48%) than emails (27%).

“So it appears that 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,” the report found.

Image: Shutterstock

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