Workers fare better when employer is kind
Employers who treat their workers kindly saw an improvement in their depression and efficacy. In a recent study, it was found that when a group of bus-drivers were given fruit, the depression in participants had improved by the end of the experiment, compared with its start.
For this study, an international team of researchers decided to focus on bus drivers in China, facing heavy mental and physical stress. As part of the experiment, employers gave 86 participants fresh fruit in their regular lunches, which were an additional benefit and the equivalent of 73 cents per meal.
The researchers evaluated depression with a questionnaire developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The results revealed that depression in participants had improved by the end of the experiment, compared with its start.
Stress can negatively impact focus and increase the chances that mistakes are made. It can also impair emotions and behaviour. The study’s lead author says that while the small gesture in the research may seem insignificant, the employer’s demonstration of kindness went a long way toward countering some of the constant job stress that the bus drivers experienced.
The study was carried out by Penn State University with the researchers summarizing their findings in the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics