Is having a trustworthy boss better than a big raise?


This paper uses life satisfaction regressions based on three surveys in two countries (Canada and the United States) to estimate the relative values of financial and non-financial job characteristics. The well-being results show strikingly large values for non-financial job characteristics, especially workplace trust and other measures of the quality of social capital in workplaces. For example, an increase of trust in management that is about one tenth of the scale has a value in terms of life satisfaction equivalent to an increase of more than 30% in monetary income. We find that these values differ significantly by gender and by union status. We consider the reasons for such large values, and explore their implications for employers, employees, and policy-makers.

Source: “Well-Being and Trust in the Workplace” from Journal of Happiness Studies (23 October 2010), pp. 1-21.

For more on the importance of good bosses (and how to be a better one) check out Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best… and Learn from the Worst by Stanford professor Bob Sutton.

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