News and advice on management and the business environment — August 2015

New research shows that CEOs who golf tend to have lower returns on their assets, while leaders who feel threatened will prevent their employees from working together.


Off golfing or goofing off?

If your boss lives for the golf course, take note. Companies helmed by a CEO who plays 22 or more rounds of golf per year have 20% lower returns on assets than companies with a top executive who golfs less often, a US study finds. Researchers from the universities of Tennessee and Alabama obtained four years of records from the US Golf Association for 363 S&P 1500 CEOs, confirming what many already suspected: “While some golf rounds may clearly serve a valid business purpose, it is unlikely that the amount of golf played by the most frequent golfers is necessary for a CEO to support her firm.”




Leaders create rifts to protect their power

You won’t find it in any manual of management practices, but research shows that leaders who feel threatened will prevent staff from working together to stop subordinates from creating alliances against them. The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found leaders limited staff communication, kept subordinates physically apart and prevented them from developing interpersonal bonds — but only when those workers were highly skilled and therefore highly threatening. The “divide and conquer” behaviour did not occur when leaders were guaranteed their power could not be lost.


Dissatisfied applicants dis your brand

Employers would be wise to treat all job applicants as their best customers, according to a study from job site The national survey of more than 500 workers and 400 hiring managers found that 23% of workers who’ve had a bad experience applying for a job are likely to gripe about it online, and 38% are apt to stop buying from the company. A third (33%) say they are less likely to patronize a company that didn’t bother to respond to their job application.


Show some respect

All that employees want from their bosses and colleagues is, apparently, a little respect. In a global study by human resources firm Right Management, 53% of workers said respect for their knowledge and experience

is their top expectation of leadership, and a similar percentage (54%) of North American workers rank respect as the No. 1 expectation of peers in the workplace.


More time to land the gig

Remember all those reports claiming interviewers mentally give you a hiring thumbs up or down within the first few moments of shaking your hand? Well, new research shows you have slightly more time to make an impression than previously thought. In an analysis of 600 half-hour job interviews, only about 30% of interviewers decided on a candidate’s suitability within the first five minutes. Six in 10 made up their minds within 15 minutes.