Bosses need to show strong morals, a clear vision and commitment to the clients if they want their employees to be happier and productive at the workplace, a new study says.
When managers display 'purposeful' behaviours, employees are less likely to quit, willing to go the extra mile, better performers and less cynical, researchers said.
"Our study shows that the modern workplace is as much a battle for hearts and minds as it is one of rules and duties," said Catherine Bailey, Professor at University of Sussex in the UK.
According to Bailey, employees increasingly expect an organisational purpose that goes beyond a mere focus on financial goals.
"In turn, they respond to leaders who care not just about themselves but wider society, who have strong morals and ethics, and who behave with purpose," she said.
The researchers suggest organisations can do more to foster purposeful and ethical leadership, including the adoption of relevant policies, leader role-modelling, alignment around a core vision, training and development and organisational culture.
"The real challenge is not in trying to achieve a perfect match between leaders' and organisational values, but supporting them to successfully recognise and negotiate the differences between what they stand for and what the business intends to achieve," said Amanda Shantz from the University of Greenwich in the UK.